Bonds need to be in on time

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - STREET WATCH -

with Act­ing Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Com­mis­sioner David Hill­yard THE De­part­ment of Com­merce Bond Ad­min­is­tra­tor fig­ures showed 10 per cent of all res­i­den­tial rental bond lodge­ments were made late in Jan­uary this year.

A bond is money paid by the ten­ant and held in trust for the du­ra­tion of a ten­ancy. The Res­i­den­tial Ten­an­cies Act 1987 (the Act) re­quires that bonds must be lodged by the land­lord or prop­erty man­ager with the Bond Ad­min­is­tra­tor as soon as prac­ti­ca­ble, and in any event within 14 days of re­ceiv­ing it. Ten­ants need to be aware that de­lays in lodg­ing a bond can put these funds at risk.

At Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion we en­cour­age ten­ants to be dili­gent about ask­ing for and ex­pect­ing a re­ceipt im­me­di­ately af­ter pay­ing a bond to a land­lord or agent. An ac­knowl­edge­ment will be sent from the Bond Ad­min­is­tra­tor once the bond has been lodged.

If you do not re­ceive a re­ceipt im­me­di­ately or an ac­knowl­edg­ment that your bond has been lodged with the Bond Ad­min­is­tra­tor within two weeks, ten­ants are ad­vised to con­tact Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion.

If it is a shared rental home and more than one per­son has con­trib­uted to the bond, it is im­por­tant the names of all the ten­ants ap­pear on the lodge­ment form to pro­tect ev­ery­one's share.

Dur­ing Jan­uary, Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion is­sued 14 for­mal warn­ings and three in­fringe­ment no­tices each for $2000 for late bond lodge­ments made in De­cem­ber last year.

We are try­ing to get vol­un­tary com­pli­ance in the first in­stance. We have writ­ten to agents to re­mind them of their obli­ga­tions and will soon be writ­ing to our data­base of pri­vate land­lords.

If an owner or an agent does not take pos­i­tive steps to­wards com­ply­ing with the re­quire­ment to lodge the ten­ants bond within 14 days, then the Com­mis­sioner can con­sider whether pros­e­cu­tion is war­ranted.

Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion launched the iRen­tWA app in 2014 to help ten­ants when rent­ing a home.

Visit Bond­sOn­line, com­merce.wa.gov.au/con­sumer-pro­tec­tion/bond­son­line or in­quiries can be made by email to Bonds.Ad­min@com­merce.wa. gov.au.

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