New online sys­tem to elim­i­nate rental bond red tape

Pilbara News - - News - Gwyn­neth Hay­wood

When you rent a home in Western Aus­tralia the bond you pay is held in trust by the Bond Ad­min­stra­tor at the Depart­ment of Com­merce — cur­rently that’s al­most 200,000 bonds val­ued at about $360 mil­lion.

WA ten­ants will ben­e­fit from an ex­panded Bond­sOn­line sys­tem, which will make it quicker and eas­ier to get se­cu­rity bonds re­turned.

The new se­cure elec­tronic trans­ac­tion sys­tem for lodg­ing bonds with the Bond Ad­min­is­tra­tor elim­i­nates the amount of pa­per­work re­quired, re­duc­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion, data en­try and print­ing costs to real es­tate agents and the Gov­ern­ment.

The main ben­e­fit of the new sys­tem will be that most ten­ants will get their bond money back within 48 hours, once the ten­ant and agent have agreed on the amount to be re­turned and have ap­proved the elec­tronic trans­ac­tion.

For ten­ants go­ing from one rental to another it means less time be­ing out of pocket with the quicker turn­around.

Pre­vi­ously there was an av­er­age wait of eight to 12 days, with some bond dis­pos­als tak­ing up to a month un­der the pa­per-based pro­cess­ing sys­tem.

The new Bond­sOn­line has been suc­cess­fully tri­alled for the past five months by a group of real es­tate agents nom­i­nated by REIWA — who have pro­vided ex­tremely pos­i­tive feed­back.

They re­port elim­i­nat­ing the need to process pa­per­work in­creases ef­fi­ciency and pro­duc­tiv­ity of their busi­ness, while re­duc­ing costs and red tape.

The sys­tem has been de­signed so it can be easily in­te­grated into an agency’s prop­erty man­age­ment soft­ware.

Ten­ant ad­vo­cacy group Ten­ancy WA has also ex­pressed its sup­port for the new sys­tem.

There are also cost sav­ings for the Gov­ern­ment, be­cause less staff will be re­quired at the Depart­ment of Com­merce with re­duced need for data en­try and man­ual pro­cesses. Pay­ments are made by au­to­mated elec­tronic fund trans­fers.

Bond­sOn­line op­er­ates in a sim­i­lar way to online bank­ing, with the real es­tate agent set­ting up the bond trans­ac­tion for each ten­ant.

Each ten­ant logs into the sys­tem and con­firms the trans­ac­tion us­ing their email ad­dress and mo­bile phone num­ber as their unique iden­ti­fiers, which re­places the need for pa­per forms.

There are safe­guards in place to en­sure that the bond money is only re­leased when the agent and the ten­ant agree on the amount to be re­turned.

Any bond dis­pute will still need to be set­tled in the Mag­is­trate’s Court.

There is more in­for­ma­tion about Bond­sOn­line at com­merce.wa. gov.au/bond­son­line and gen­eral in­for­ma­tion about bonds is avail­able at com­merce.wa.gov.au/bonds or by call­ing Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion on 1300 30 40 54.

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