eTransactions for Agents

This publication is for: 
Landlord / lessorProperty industry

How does the electronic submission system benefit agents?

Electronic transactions (eTransactions) allows you to lodge, make changes to and release bonds online. eTransactions are available as part of BondsOnline and are faster, easier, and more secure than the manual bond form process.

The agency controls the timing of funds being debited from their trust account. This makes it easier for you to comply with the Real Estate and Business Agents Act, regulations, and code of conduct.

The use of direct debit allows for the transfer of funds directly from the agency trust account to Bonds Administration. The funds will generally be transferred on the day the agency approves the transfer, or the following business day if the approval is after 2pm.

EFT transaction reports can be generated from the system, enabling easier reconciliation of accounts. Monthly agency reports are also available from the reporting menu.

eTransactions can be saved as drafts, allowing for pre-population of information before tenants attend your office.

The system provides a full audit trail of all functions carried out by your staff and separation of duties, if required.

How are BondsOnline and eTransactions secure?

  • Direct debit authority meets national banking standards.
  • Sensitive information, including mobile phone numbers, email addresses and bank account information, remains private. Only authorised staff both at the Department and your office will have access.
  • eTransactions are started by the agency. All eTransactions involving payments to, or from, Bonds Administration must also be approved by the agency.
  • BondsOnline offers eTransaction monitoring which checks for, and reports on, any irregularities in the process.

Do I have to use eTransactions?

If you are a licensed real estate agent undertaking property management services, you must use BondsOnline eTransactions (Regulation 7H of the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1979).

Are there any exceptions to the requirement for real estate agents to use eTransactions?

Yes, eTransactions may not be suitable for all tenants and Bonds Administration will accept paper form submissions if:

  • The tenant does not have internet access
  • The tenant cannot use a mobile phone or email
  • The tenant has limited English language ability

Certain kinds of transactions are not supported by eTransactions and a paper form will still be required if:

  • You are transferring the security bond from one property to another
  • The disposal of security bond involves a deceased tenant

There is also a blanket exemption to allow bonds which were initially lodged with a paper form to be disposed of or varied on a manual paper form.

If you are submitting a paper form for any of the reasons above, please include a note in your email or on the form to explain why a paper form has been used.

For clarification, please call 1300 853 829 or email.

How do I start using BondsOnline?

Complete the BondsOnline registration form for agents, create an account on My Account and submit a scanned copy of the form via BondsOnline.

Please also ensure you read and understand the BondsOnline terms and conditions, which include the direct debit request service agreement terms and conditions.

Does BondsOnline cost anything for agents to use?

BondsOnline is free. 

Why do agents need to approve eTransactions that include payments?

Approving payment amounts protects your business. One of the benefits of eTransactions is it gives agents greater control and understanding when it comes to payments.

  • Lodgements: the direct debit can only be processed by Bonds Administration once your authorised employee/s give approval. Remember, if this is completed by 2:00 pm, the funds will generally be debited on the same day.
  • Disposals: agents give the final approval on amounts before the tenants are made aware of the transaction. The system does not show the agent the tenant’s bank account details as part of this final check. All parties receive notifications at each stage of the process.

What reports can I get from the system?

Reports can be generated about all records held for your agency. This includes both current and historical records. 

In addition, the new EFT payment report gives you transaction level reconciliation capabilities for all transactions initiated in the system.

The reporting functions provide an easy way for agencies to monitor the records held by Bonds Administration for properties on your rent roll, making reconciliation easy.

You can also access your agency monthly reports through the system.

What if a tenant does not have an email address?

Each tenant must independently confirm information by accessing a link in the email they receive to their unique email address.

If a tenant doesn’t have an email address, they can create one by using one of the free services, such as Live, Hotmail or Gmail.

If a tenant does not have an email address or mobile phone number, you must use the manual form. In BondsOnline, you can generate manual forms by unticking ‘Online Submission’ at the top of the bond application. You can also download and print forms from the bonds forms page.

Use your agency’s details.  Any approvals carried out by the agency on behalf of a tenant will be considered to be falsifying the tenant’s approval and will be reported to the Department’s compliance team.

Use another tenant’s information. If multiple tenants have the same contact information, this will significantly delay the application to release the bond and could result in the need to apply for a Court Order to have the bond released.

A tenant has received an email saying it’s from Bonds Administration and they’re worried it’s a scam, what do they do?

BondsOnline emails from Bonds Administration will always use the tenant’s first name and surname in the greeting. They will also include the address of the rental property.

Your tenant can forward any suspect email to bonds email.

If you, or the tenant are concerned about scams, contact Consumer Protection for advice by phone on 1300 30 40 54 or email.

Further information about scams is available from WA ScamNet

More information

The BondsOnline page has further information about the eTransaction service. 

The bonds section contains further information about bond forms, how much can be charged for a bond, pet bonds, lodging, making changes to and releasing a bond.

If you need further assistance, you can contact:

  • Bonds Administration on 1300 85 38 29 or
  • BondsOnline support line on (08) 6251 2715.

BondsOnline registration forms

The BondsOnline: User Registration and Terms and Conditions page contains the forms and documents new agents will need to register for the BondsOnline system.

Consumer Protection
Fact sheet
Last updated 06 May 2024

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