The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Quantum Housing Group Pty Ltd (Quantum) alleging unconscionable conduct and false, misleading or deceptive conduct relating to the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).
The ACCC alleges that Quantum’s director, Cheryl Howe, was involved in the conduct.
Quantum is an approved participant of the NRAS, meaning it is entitled to receive incentives under the NRAS and is responsible for ensuring NRAS dwellings are compliant with the scheme.
The ACCC alleges that from February 2017 to July 2018 Quantum pressured property investors participating in the NRAS to terminate the arrangements with their existing property managers and to retain property managers recommended or approved by Quantum, and which had commercial links to Quantum.
It is also alleged that Quantum made false or misleading representations to investors and property managers about its own rights, as well as the potential losses investors would face if they did not use Quantum’s approved property managers.
Quantum also issued guidelines to investors and their existing property managers setting out how property managers could become approved by Quantum. The guidelines required property managers to pay a $10,000 deposit to Quantum for each NRAS property they managed.
The ACCC alleges that Quantum did not receive a security deposit from the property managers it recommended
“Payment of the $10,000 per property would mean that managing any NRAS property would have been completely unviable for many property managers,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
“Quantum’s alleged conduct meant that investors could not select a property manager who best suited their needs and many property managers suffered a significant loss of business as a result.”
The ACCC is seeking pecuniary penalties, injunctions, declarations, and banning orders against Ms Howe.
The NRAS is an Australian Government affordable housing initiative, delivered in partnership with state and territory governments. The NRAS offers financial incentives to people who rent dwellings to eligible low and moderate-income households at a rate that is at least 20 per cent below the market rate. The incentive is a contribution by the Commonwealth and the relevant State Government for each NRAS property in each year.
The attached document below contains the ACCC’s initiating court documents in relation to this matter. We will not be uploading further documents in the event these initial documents are subsequently amended.