eTransactions FAQs for Agents

This publication is for: 
Landlord / lessorProperty industry

FAQs – licensed agents

Why an electronic submission system?

Electronic transactions or eTransactions gives you the ability to submit tenancy bond lodgements, variations (tenant and lessor changes) and disposals online. It is similar to online banking.

Moving to a completely online system allows for a streamlined process that reduces the time and cost involved with bond transactions. An electronic system also means that it is online, flexible and mobile. It is fast, easy and secure.

eTransactions is available as part of the enhanced BondsOnline.

Is BondsOnline and eTransactions secure?

Yes. Keeping personal and financial information secure is our top priority.

  • Direct debit authority meets national banking standards
  • Sensitive information, including mobile phone numbers, email addresses and bank account information, remains private and accessible only to authorised staff both at the Department and your office
  • The system has been assessed by a leading defence and security company and processes have been trialled by industry representatives (small, medium and large business). This robust industry testing has verified the processes used by the system
  • Transactions are started by the agency. All transactions involving payments to, or from, Bonds Administration must also be approved by the agency
  • Transaction level monitoring checks for and reports on any irregularities in the process

Do I have to use eTransactions?

In September 2016, BondsOnline eTransactions became mandatory for licensed real estate agents undertaking property management services. Regulation 7H of the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1979 provides that payment for a security bond over a property managed by a licensed real estate agency must be made via the BondsOnline system.

Therefore, if you are a licensed real estate agent, all bond lodgements, variations and disposals must be made via BondsOnline eTransactions.

The Regulations do allow for certain bonds related transactions to occur outside the BondsOnline system, but only in specified circumstances. For more information contact BondsOnline Support on (08) 6251 2715.

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

Yes, there are exceptions to allow for the use of paper forms in some situations. If you are submitting a paper form for any of the reasons below, please include a note in your email or on the form itself, to explain why a paper form has been used.

eTransactions may not be suitable for all tenants and we will accept paper form submissions if;

  • The tenant does not have internet access to check their email account
  • The tenant is not competent in the use of a mobile phone or email
  • The tenant does not have a sound understanding of the English language

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 another
  • You are changing the managing party to another agent or private landlord
  • The security bond is subject to a court order
  • 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.

For clarification, please call 1300 853 829 or email.

How do I start using BondsOnline?

To register for BondsOnline is easy. Simply download and complete the Licensed agent user registration form and return to the Bond Administrator by email, fax, post or in person:

  • Email
  • Fax: (08) 6251 2813
  • Phone: 1300 853 829
  • Postal address: Bond Administration, Locked Bag 100, EAST PERTH WA 6892
  • Office: Mason Bird Building, Level 1, 303 Sevenoaks St Cannington.

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

Does BondsOnline cost anything for agents to use?

BondsOnline is absolutely free. All you need is an internet connection. It will even save you money because eTransactions reduces printing and data entry. It’s a win‑win.

How does the system benefit agents?

eTransactions is fast, easy and secure. Bond lodgements, variations and disposals are processed more quickly and easily from the one system.

  • You control the timing of funds being debited from your trust account
  • Following agency approval of the transaction, funds are debited directly from the agency trust account, meaning you can more easily comply with the Real Estate and Business Agents Act, regulations and code of conduct
  • It’s completely mobile – all you need is an internet connection
  • Direct credit allows for funds to be paid back into your trust account much more quickly, no more waiting for cheques to clear
  • EFT transaction reports can be generated from the system, enabling easier reconciliation of accounts
  • Your agency monthly reports are also available from the reporting menu
  • eTransactions can be saved as drafts, allowing for pre-population of data in advance of tenants attending your office
  • The system provides a full audit trail of all functions carried out by your staff
  • The system allows for separation of duties, if required
  • Reduced data entry errors means there is less chance of incorrect amounts being debited from your trust account
  • Reductions in data entry, printing costs and processing times for transactions means overall cost savings for your business

How does using direct debit benefit agents?

The use of direct debit allows for the transfer of funds directly from the agency trust account to the Bond Administrator. This will generally occur on the day of approval by the agency, or, if approved after 2:00 pm, the next business day.

This ensures the agency meets its obligations under the Real Estate and Business Agents Act.

Each lodgement also shows as a single transaction on your bank statement, providing for easier reconciliation.

  • A single page lodgement summary form, including the approval history is created by the system
  • No outstanding cheques to reconcile
  • Reduced likelihood of discrepancies between cheques and lodgement forms
  • More timely processing, no more delays
  • Reporting allows for easier transaction level auditing (EFT payment report)

Why do agents need to approve eTransactions that include payments?

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 okay 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 system also gives you transaction level reconciliation capabilities for all transactions initiated in the system with the new EFT payment report.

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.

When a tenant does not have an email address can we use the agency’s details?

No. Each tenant must confirm information by accessing a link in the email that they are sent.  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 of Commerce’s compliance team.

If a tenant doesn’t already 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 paper form. You can download and print forms from the bonds forms page.

When a tenant doesn’t have an email address and/or mobile telephone can we use another tenant’s information?

No. Tenants must confirm information by accessing a link in the email they are sent.  If a tenant does not have an email address or mobile phone number, you need to use the paper form. You can download and print forms from the bonds forms page.

Multiple tenants having the same contact information will significantly delay the time it takes to process the disposal application and could result in the need to obtain an Order to enable the Department to disburse the bond.

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

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

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 the suspect email to bonds email.

If you are concerned about scams, you can contact Consumer Protection for advice by phone on 1300 304 054 or email.

Further information about scams is available from WA ScamNet

More information

The BondsOnline page has further information about the etranaction serivce. 

The bonds section contains further information about bond forms, how much can be charged for a bond, pet bonds, lodging, varying and disolving a bond.

If you need further assistance, you can contact:

  • Bonds Administration on 1300 853 829 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 18 Nov 2020

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