South Perth agent fined for late bond lodgements (MI Real Estate Pty Ltd / Soco Realty)

This announcement is for: 
ConsumerLandlord / lessorTenant

Failing to lodge security bonds on time has resulted in a South Perth real estate agency and its director being fined a total of $5,000, following mediation in the State Administrative Tribunal.

MI Real Estate Pty Ltd, trading as Soco Realty, had accepted security bonds from three tenants in the southern suburbs, but failed to lodge them as soon as practicable, or within 14 days, as required by the Residential Tenancies Act.

Between August 2018 and May 2019, Soco Realty collected a total of $4,180 in security bonds from the tenants in Como, Cannington and South Perth, but delayed lodging them with the bond administrator for up to three months.

Accepting the conduct was an administrative oversight, the tribunal ordered Soco Realty to pay $3,000 and fined its sole director a further $2,000.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Lanie Chopping, said the late lodgement of bonds was an issue the department took extremely seriously.

“While the majority of real estate agents do the right thing, there are a small number that do not,” Ms Chopping said. 

“This disciplinary action follows three successful prosecutions involving late bond lodgements earlier in the year, so it should serve as a lesson to other agents that penalties await those who don’t comply.

“It’s vital that property managers keep their business in order to avoid similar oversights and potentially risk being prosecuted.

“Both real estate agents and private landlords are duty-bound to lodge bond money with the bond administrator within 14 days, which is ample time given it’s so easily done online these days.” 

More information on tenancy bonds is on the Consumer Protection website or enquiries can be made by email: consumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54.

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Media Contact: Frankie Pennington, (08) 6552 9410 / 0409 090 407 / frankie.pennington@dmirs.wa.gov.au  

Consumer Protection
Media release
22 Jun 2020

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