A new initiative from the Queensland government aims to crack down on the late lodgement of rental bonds among property managers.
Announced by Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman and Minister for Communities and Housing Leeanne Enoch, the pair said the measures would make it even easier for property managers to meet their legal requirements around lodging rental bonds, and serve to strengthen enforcement around illegal rental bond practices.
Under Queensland’s renting laws, a tenant can pay their bond directly to the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) or to the rental property owner or manager, who must then lodge it with the RTA within 10 days.
According to Ms Enoch, while the majority of property managers do the right thing, there are still too many instances of bonds being lodged late or not at all.
In consultation with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the RTA, the initiative amends sections of the Agents Financial Administration Regulation 2014 to update and increase transparency around the handling of bonds.
“We have modernised the process, by allowing agents to now use online payment platforms such as BPAY,” Ms Fentiman explained.
“This will ensure [property managers] have no excuse to meet lodgement deadlines and will strengthen compliance within the sector.”
The new Bulk Bond Lodgement Web Service is being launched by RTA today, 7 December. It allows joint lessors and managing parties working on behalf of an organisation to lodge multiple bonds and bond increases in one online transaction, via BPAY.
Ms Enoch called the new service “a more convenient, digital way for managing parties to lodge and pay for rental bonds in bulk with the RTA, making it even easier for those who manage multiple tenancies to ensure they lodge bonds on time in accordance with Queensland’s renting laws”.
The new service complements the single bond lodgement service that is already available in the state, but makes it quicker and easier to process lodgements en masse.
“With the introduction of a new service to support lodging bonds in bulk, there is simply no excuse for a property owner or manager to miss the 10-day deadline for lodging rental bonds with the RTA,” Ms Enoch said.
Additionally, a new memorandum of understanding between OFT and RTA will see the agencies join forces to investigate property managers who break the laws on lodging bonds.
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Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.