RAHU Win Against Third-Party App Kolmeo


Last month, RAHU Delegate Jay successfully fought back against Nelson Alexander’s coercive policy of forcing thousands of renters to switch to the Kolmeo property management app to make rental payments. 

Kolmeo is a property management software suite which effectively outsources property management and charges tenants a fee to pay their rent. Last November, we were notified by our members that Nelson Alexander had begun coercing renters into switching to Kolmeo to make rental payments and property maintenance requests. 

In correspondence with Chris from WestJustice, Nelson Alexander has now stated that they are backing down from forcing renters onto Kolmeo and its rental payment fees. 

This is a huge result for RAHU and for our communities. Additional thanks to WEstjustice for their efforts, our Delegates and media team for all their outreach work, and our General Branch Delegate Zach and the RRST team for their research and resource creation. 

You can download our one-page resource on opting out of rental payment apps here

Quotes attributable to Jay Array, RAHU Northside Delegate: 

There were a few different legal arguments [against Nelson Alexander’s attempts to force renters onto 3rd party payment apps]: 

  1. Agencies couldn’t force renters to do things that weren’t set out in the lease agreement
  2. The residential tenancies act states clearly renters need to have a fee free option.

[We can] argue that Direct Debit doesn’t meet this criteria because of risks with overdraft fees and renters losing control of their bank accounts.

Quotes attributable to Eirene Tsolidis Noyce, RAHU Secretary:
These third party rental payments apps are not designed with renters’ interests in mind. Here we’ve pushed back against one of the largest Real Estate Agencies and successfully stopped this roll out to their national list of renters.

Media contact:  

Ellise Bourne 0468 474 526 or email [email protected] 

The Renters And Housing Union (VIC) is a member-run Union of renters and people in precarious housing, formed out of the rent strike as a response to the COVID19 crisis. We collectively organise for the right to safe and secure housing through self-advocacy, education, and frontline eviction defence.      

Find out more and join RAHU https://rahu.org.au/

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