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UPDATE 20/04/2021: After Consumer Protection reported on the outcome of this case on 27 February 2020, Christina Cramphorn successfully applied for the judgement to be set aside on the basis that she was not present when the case was heard by the Rockingham Magistrates Court. A re-trial was held on 25 March 2021 and Ms Cramphorn again failed to attend and Magistrate Andretich accepted that she had failed to respond to communications from Consumer Protection. The original fine of $10,000 was increased to $12,000 and Ms Cramphorn was also ordered to pay costs of $3,329.50.
The private landlord of a Warnbro property has been fined $10,000 for failing to lodge two security bonds with the bond administrator and not providing the tenants with prescribed information and property condition reports.
Christina Maria Cramphorn of Warnbro was convicted in her absence on 21 February 2020 in the Rockingham Magistrates court. She was also ordered to pay $557.50 in costs.
The landlord entered into two separate residential tenancy agreements in May 2018 and February 2019, receiving a total of $3,500 in security bonds for the Kingsbridge Road property.
Ms Cramphorn breached the Residential Tenancies Act by failing to lodge two security bonds with the bond administrator and failing to provide the tenants with prescribed information outlining their rights and responsibilities. In addition, she did not provide the tenants with property condition reports at the start and conclusion of their residential tenancy agreements.
In sentencing, Magistrate Atkins noted that Ms Cramphorn was aware of her obligations as a private landlord from an education letter sent to her in 2017 by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping said the repeat breaches by a landlord who should know better were concerning.
“Failing to protect her tenant’s rights in the first instance is bad enough, but then to do it a second time makes the situation much more serious,” Ms Chopping said.
“Private landlords and real estate agents are required by law to lodge bond money with the bond administrator as soon as practicable or within 14 days, and failure to lodge them at all is inexcusable.
“Property condition reports must be provided within seven days of a tenant entering the property, as well as on their departure, to avoid arguments about how the condition of the property has changed during the tenancy.
“This conviction and penalty highlights how seriously all lessors must take their legal responsibilities when renting out properties.”
Media Contact: Frankie Pennington, (08) 6552 9410 / 0466 409 828 / firstname.lastname@example.org