One of Australia’s top prestige property agencies has folded, owing unpaid wages.
News Corp reports that Unique Estates had an insolvency firm step in to manage its business, while it was investigated by the NSW Department of Fair Trading.
Unique Estates was established in Byron Bay in 2008 by Nicolette van Wijngaarden. The agency currently has six offices across the nation and is known for selling and renting luxury properties.
Unique Estates won several awards over the years, including Best Real Estate Agency Marketing and Best Estate Agency Website in Australia, at the Asia Pacific Property Awards.
The website is currently down and the company is now facing liquidation.
According to The Northern Star, Wijngaarden recently sent a personal email to staff saying that wages could not be paid as the company’s bank accounts had been frozen.
The Northern Star estimates at least 35 people are out of work and that several local subcontractors will not be paid as a result of the collapse.
It is speculated that the company’s sales may have suffered from the recent regulatory crackdown on foreign property buyers.
Wijngaarden has not publicly commented on the situation.