Complaint lodged over developer’s advertising

Complaint lodged over developer’s advertising

A complaint has been made to the Commerce Commission over Williams Corporation’s advertising for some of its developments.

Information packs on the Christchurch company’s developments suggested prospective buyers could use the spaces for Airbnb-style rental use, which would be in breach of the District Plan.

“The owner may be subject to obtaining resource consents although the likelihood of the council enforcing this is low at this stage,” the information pack reads.

This was ordered to be removed by the Christchurch City Council.

Councillor Jake McLellan and Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board member Michelle Lomax have now sent a complaint to the Commerce Commission about the information packs, claiming some are still present.

A Commerce Commission spokeswoman said the complaint was still awaiting assessment, which could take four to six weeks to complete once started.

Williams Corporation managing director Matthew Horncastle said the content suggesting Airbnb use was a possibility had now been removed from information packs across developments and also ones available online.

He said this was because the information packs became “too political”.

“We removed it from all our developments, that statement [that the material is still out there] is factually inaccurate,” he said.

The complaint reads: “Although we understand this material has been removed from their listing at Merivale Lane, we also understand this has not been the case for any other property.”

“As we are sure you can understand, misleading advertisement places both potential buyers and the council in a very difficult situation, where purchasers could end up in a situation where they have spent a very large sum of money in the expectation of using it for unhosted rentals and the council has to take enforcement action against them.

“As elected members, we do not want to see this kind of problem occurring and so we hope you will investigate and nip the matter in the bud.”

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