WA tenants taken to the cleaners trying to get their bond back
WA tenants have lost money after being duped into paying for end of tenancy bond cleaning on their rental properties, but the cleaners didn’t turn up.
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Consumer Protection is warning tenants not to use the services of Express Professional Services Pty Ltd, trading as Simple Cleans, an online business operated by Cassandra Nicole Cooney, who is based in Alstonville (near Ballina) in northern New South Wales.
Ms Cooney has been convicted of fraud charges brought by NSW Police; has been successfully convicted by the Office of Fair Trading Queensland for contravening consumer law; and has been the subject of warnings issued by NSW Fair Trading and NT Consumer Affairs.
Authorities are in the process of having the website simplebondcleans.com.au operated by Ms Cooney closed down and, until that occurs, tenants and consumers are advised to avoid making any bookings or payments via this site.
Other business names believed to be operated by Ms Cooney are:
- Moving Out Cleans;
- Bond Cleaning Online;
- Easy Cleaning Services;
- Express Bond Cleaning;
- Express End of Lease Cleaning;
- Express Professional Services;
- Express Commercial Cleans;
- Express Home cleaning;
- Bond Cleaners Trust;
- Bond Cleaners Australia; and
- Total Domestic.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said, so far this year, Consumer Protection has received complaints from at least 10 tenants in WA claiming to have paid Simple Cleans a total of $4,556.
“Most of the complaints have been received in recent months after the tenants paid via bank transfer for a bond clean booked online, but were left high and dry and out of pocket,” Mr Hillyard said.
“Most complaints are from renters vacating a property and requiring it to be cleaned by a specific date in order to have their rental bond returned and one complaint was received from a real estate agent on behalf of tenants.
“When the cleaners fail to turn up on the day booked, the tenants are unable to get in touch with Ms Cooney and have not received a refund that they are entitled to. The tenants then face the prospect of having to engage alternative cleaners at the last minute at extra cost, otherwise possibly putting the return of their bond in jeopardy.
“It is a serious breach of consumer law to accept payment for services and then fail to carry out those services. In this situation tenants shouldn’t pay any money upfront and pay only after the cleaning has been carried out to a satisfactory standard.
“We strongly recommend that WA tenants do not have any dealings whatsoever with Simple Cleans or any of the various businesses operated by Ms Cooney and avoid making bookings on the website she operates.”
WA tenants who have had unsatisfactory dealings with Simple Cleans or Ms Cooney should contact Consumer Protection by email or by calling 1300 30 40 54. More information on consumer and tenants’ rights is available on the Consumer Protection website.