Landlords fined for taking 10 times weekly rent as bond

Two private landlords have been ordered to pay $3,000 in fines and costs after making their tenant pay too much for their bond, not providing them a receipt and not lodging the money with the Bond Administrator.

Steven and Nava Mayer had a guilty plea to all of these offences at the Perth Magistrates Court on December 2. The fine was $1,000, with $2,000 of costs.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Anne Driscoll, said that in 2011 the landlords took $8,500 worth of bond money for a rental in Yokine. She notes this was 10 times the weekly rent, when the tenancy law notes that no more than four weeks should be taken as the bond.

“As well as failing to give the tenant a receipt, meaning there was no proper record of the transaction, the Meyers did not lodge the money with the Bond Administrator for nearly 500 days – legally it must be lodged within 14 days. At the time, tenancy law also gave an option for them to put the money in a dedicated bond account at the bank and they did not do this either," said Driscoll.

“The law ensures that a tenant’s bond money will not be misused and is held securely, so whether it is a private landlord or a real estate agent, funds must be lodged with the Bond Administrator as soon as practicable and no later than 14 days after receipt."

She noted that failure or delays to lodge may result in prosecution.

“Last month a private landlord was fined a total of $2,500 in the Geraldton Magistrates Court for failing to deposit two tenants’ security bonds and failing to lodge the bond of a third tenant with the Bond Administrator within 14 days of receipt," she said.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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