BondOnline update positive feedback from agents: Real estate bulletin Issue 146 (June 2017)
19 June 2017
From 1 September 2016, it has been mandatory for real estate agents to carry out electronic bond transactions.
The feedback from agents about the BondsOnline etransaction service (BondsOnline) has been extremely positive. Agents have realised the benefits of conducting electronic transactions include:
- a significantly faster return of bond money, which normally occurs within 48 hours in contrast to the 10 days taken for manual paper-based forms;
- a reduction in the number of telephone calls from Bond Administration requesting follow-up information which allows agents more time to concentrate on other areas of their business; and
- instant access to information for reporting, reconciliations etc.
A review of BondsOnline in April indicated that 96% of lodgements by agents have been conducted online.
In stark contrast, only 44% of security bonds were disposed of electronically. While this is largely attributable to the manual disposal of bonds lodged prior to 1 September 2016, there are still agents attempting to manually dispose of a bond that had originally been lodged electronically.
Remember: To comply with legislation you must use BondsOnline to dispose of the bond if the bond was lodged electronically.
Your business can derive further benefits such as faster disposals and less follow up calls from your tenants by implementing the following actions:
- Provide the tenant/s with information on the BondsOnline at the onset of the tenancy.
- Provide the tenant/s with the specific electronic Lodgement and Disposal sheet available on the agent portal, as well as links to the Short Videos.
- Double check that the tenant/s' contact details are correctly entered into BondsOnline, so the tenant/s will be able to approve the electronic transaction, assisting a seamless return of bond monies at the end of the tenancy.
You are also encouraged to take advantage of the agent training and online support provided by BondsOnline team.
Change to the Residential Tenancies Regulations
In line with the successful introduction of the BondsOnline system for dealing with security bonds, the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989 (the Regulations) have been amended to facilitate a more streamlined approach to the BondsOnline registration process.
Effective 3 July 2017, regulation 7H of the Regulations legislates the use of BondsOnline is subject to the BondsOnline - Terms and Conditions, as published and amended from time to time on the Department of Commerce website. The introduction of this provision to the Regulations supersedes the BondsOnline Licensed Agent User Agreement and simplifies the user registration process.
For real estate agents already registered to use BondsOnline there is no material change. For new real estate agents, or those not already signed up, the registration process will be by way of a simple Registration Form, to be read in conjunction with the BondsOnline Terms and Conditions published on the Department of Commerce website. The Direct Debit Request (DDR) Service Agreement governing the direct debit arrangements required for BondsOnline will continue to apply.
More information on BondsOnline can be made by email or by phone 1300 853 829.