A landlord in Perth has had more than a slap on the hand for not lodging a bond with the Bond Administrator.
Ive Cvitan has been fined $4,000 by the Joondalup Magistrates Court for failing to lodge a bond, and he has been ordered to pay back the $1,400 bond to his tenant.
The Darch resident entered a rental agreement with the tenant back in May 2017, when she paid him the bond. While a receipt was issued, Mr Cvitan did not provide the tenant with the completed agreement or give them a property condition report.
Under Western Australia’s Residential Tenancies Act, landlords must lodge a bond within two weeks of the receipt.
When the tenant moved out and did not get her bond back, she claimed Mr Cvitan was avoiding paying it back.
As the bond was not lodged correctly, there was no security for the tenant, Consumer Protection Commissioner David Hillyard said.
“A bond remains the tenant’s money until the landlord makes a claim on it due to unpaid rent or damage to the property. It is not money that should be retained by the landlord to be returned at their discretion,” Mr Hillyard said.
The Bond Administration holds all bonds until the landlord and tenant agree on how much should be returned at the end of a tenancy. If there is a dispute, Consumer Protection can step in to assist, he said.
“Private landlords, as well as real estate agents and property managers, need to comply with the law and transfer bond payments to the Bond Administrator as soon as practicable and certainly within 14 days. There are serious consequences for those who don’t comply.”