From 30 January 2017, property agents and private landlords must be registered with Rental Bonds Online and must offer the service to new tenants as the first option for lodgement of their bond.
Rental Bonds Online (RBO) is a service aiming to help tenants, agents and landlords lodge and refund their bond money easily and safely.
PMs using the service will be able to lodge, view and refund residential rental bonds online without having to use cheques or paper forms.
PMs will also be able to receive email or SMS updates on a bond that has been lodged with the service.
Agencies will need to submit a form to NSW Fair Trading to register their agency and nominate someone to be a principal user.
From there, NSW Fair Trading will email the user to set up their account and create access for their staff members.
Before a PM can register a tenant with the service they will need to confirm the tenant has access to the internet, a mobile phone, an email address, a payment method and an Australian bank or credit union account.
Tenants who do not meet the requirements to lodge their bond online are still able to lodge via the paper method. PMs will be able to see these forms online in their account but will not get notifications on the processing of these bonds.
NSW Fair Trading is urging PMs to discuss Rental Bonds Online with their tenants by providing them with the fact sheet (available online) and the link to the ‘Rental Bonds Online – for tenants’ web page.
The NSW Fair Trading website has both fact sheets and videos to assistant PMs, landlords and tenants with the transition to the new online system.
A landlord or agent who fails to invite a new tenant to lodge their bond using RBO, prior to accepting a bond, will be in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and may be fined $2,200.