Late bond lodgements result in $8,000 fine for real estate agency: Real estate industry bulletin issue 173 (March 2018)
Verse Property Group
An East Victoria Park real estate agency has been fined $8,000 by the Perth Magistrates Court for the late lodgement of tenancy bonds to the Bond Administrator.
Verse (Aust) Pty Ltd, trading as Verse Property Group, was also ordered to pay $505 in costs after pleading guilty on 2 March 2018 to charges of breaching the Residential Tenancies Act by failing to lodge eight bonds amounting to $12,400 as soon as practicable or within 14 days. The bonds were paid by tenants in January and February 2017.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection Penny Lipscombe said tougher action will be taken against real estate agencies or private landlords who take more than 14 days to lodge security bonds.
“Bond money is held securely in trust by the Bond Administrator and any delay in depositing these funds may put them at risk,” Ms Lipscombe said.
“There is absolutely no reason why bond money cannot be lodged within the 14 day period or sooner, especially since the Bonds Online eTransactions system has become available to all agents.
“I urge real estate agents to review their current procedures to ensure their bond processing practices are in line with their legal obligations. I also caution private landlords that they too need to be aware of the requirements, otherwise they may suffer serious consequences.
“Licensed real estate agents could be putting their licence, and ultimately their livelihood, in jeopardy if there are serious and continuing violations of this important aspect of tenancy law.”
More information is available from the section on the obligations of real estate agents, sales representatives and property managers. Enquiries can be made by email or by calling 1300 30 40 54.