A brother and sister have been fined almost $30,000 over a rent-to-buy property scheme in Western Australia.
Patricia Mirawati Susilo and Bryan Artawijaya Susilo were fined $17,500 and $12,000 respectively, and ordered to pay $8000 in costs after admitting in the WA Supreme Court to misleading and deceptive conduct between late 2010 and early 2013.
Patricia also admitted to operating as a real estate agent without a licence.
Examples of false or misleading statements made to potential vendors and buyers included "own my home", which gave the wrong impression that they owned a property for sale, "no banks needed" and "stuff the banks - move in today", which suggested buyers did not need a bank loan, and "we buy houses", which falsely suggested the promoters could buy properties immediately.
They also falsely claimed not to charge a commission or fees, and that they were "part of a group of real estate investors".
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said such schemes targeted people who were desperate and found it difficult to get finance to buy a home, as well as vendors who were having difficulty selling their homes.
"Those who may be contemplating taking part in these schemes should think very carefully and get expert financial and legal advice before signing any contracts," she said.
"They should treat any claims being made by promoters with scepticism and check to make sure information being provided by the promoter is accurate."