NSW Fair Trading has announced the opening of the NSW Rental Bond Services office in Grafton.
NSW Fair Trading minister Matthew Mason-Cox attended the opening with member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis and said the relocation of the service from Sydney to Grafton is an example of the NSW government’s commitment to ensuring regional NSW has a greater say in the future of the state.
“Fair Trading’s Rental Bond Service looks after the day-to-day receipt and refund of rental bonds on behalf the NSW Rental Bond Board,” he said.
Mr Mason-Cox said that in the 2013/2014 financial year, a record 726,337 rental bonds valued at $1.116 billion were held in custody by the Rental Bond Board.
“During that period, 284,915 new rental bonds were lodged with the board, reflecting a three per cent increase over the previous financial year,” he said.
With more than 30 per cent of NSW dwellings occupied by private renters, it was important that money paid by tenants as security on a rented home was held independently and available for refund, while allowing landlords to recover losses where appropriate, said Mr Mason-Cox.
He added that a vital secondary role of the Rental Bond Board is the financial support it provides for programs that encourage a fair tenancy marketplace.
“This includes funding for the Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Program, the government’s tenancy services and the tenancy functions of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal,” he said.
To coincide with the official opening of the rental bond unit, Mr Mason-Cox also announced the launch of the free Fair Trading tenancy complaint service.
The service offers a convenient alternative for residential tenancy disputes about issues such as repairs, alterations to the premises, inspections, condition reports and ending a tenancy.