A real estate agency has been ordered to pay more than $24,000 for failing to lodge bonds on time and false record keeping.
The decision was handed down by the Perth Magistrates Court after it found Peard Real Estate Karratha had collected bonds from six tenants between September 2017 and January 2018, but did not lodge them within 14 days as required by law.
The agency was also convicted of five charges of inaccurate trust records relating to the dates of when the bonds were lodged.
The bond money was lodged up to two months late, although the records showed the money was transferred on time.
The company was fined $18,000 for the late bond lodgements, $5,000 for inaccurate record keeping, and was ordered to pay $1,069 in costs.
With the ability to lodge bonds easily online, there is no excuse for lodging the money late, Consumer Protection commissioner Lanie Chopping said.
“The Bond Administrator securely holds all bonds until both landlord and tenant agree on how much should be returned at the end of the tenancy,” Ms Chopping said.
“Two weeks is ample time for bond money to be transferred, and it is crucial agents and all private lessors adhere to the legislation to ensure the tenant’s money is kept safe and secure.
“Failing to lodge bonds on time and falsifying records about the dates they were lodged are very serious offences, and this conviction should serve as a lesson to other agents that serious penalties await those who don’t comply.”