Make sure rental bond is lodged on time
A security bond is a payment made in advance by a tenant to cover any costs for which the tenant may be liable at the end of the tenancy, such as damage to the property or unpaid water bills or rent.
Bond money is held in trust for the duration of a tenancy and must be lodged by the landlord or property manager with the Bond Administrator at Consumer Protection within 14 days of receiving it. Delays in lodging a bond can put these funds at risk.
When a tenant pays the bond, the landlord must immediately provide a receipt. Tenants who do not receive an acknowledgment that their bond has been lodged with the Bond Administrator within two weeks can contact Consumer Protection.
There is absolutely no reason why bond money cannot be lodged within the 14 day period or sooner, especially since the new Bonds Online eTransactions system has become available to all agents.
Consumer Protection and the Department of Communities have joined forces to target landlords who fail to lodge tenancy bonds provided through a rental assistance program, the Bond Assistance Loan Scheme.
Under the scheme, which is offered by the Department of Communities, eligible people can apply for a no interest and fee free loan to cover ingoing property costs (all or part of the bond and up to two weeks’ rent in advance) to help them obtain accommodation in the private rental market.
Matching data held by both Consumer Protection and the Department of Communities allows us to more easily identify bonds that are not being held by the Bond Administrator and take action against landlords or property managers who have failed to comply with the law, both past and present.
We have already uncovered a concerning number of cases where the landlord or real estate agency has failed to lodge the bond.
Offenders may face a $2,000 infringement notice. If the matter goes to Court, they could face a fine of up to $20,000 for every breach.
More information on lodging bonds can be found on the Consumer Protection website (www.consumerprotection.wa.gov.au) or on the iRentWA app that is available for free. Landlords and tenants can also email enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 853 829.
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