A Western Australian landlord has been charged over $13,000 for failing to lodge rental bonds from two tenants.
The landlord, Mark Alasdair Adam, was convicted in absence on 21 March for failing to lodge $3,200 in bond money.
He was fined $5,000 for each offence, and was also ordered to pay $3,775.10 in costs.
The bond money was taken from two separate tenants, the first instance in July 2016 and then again in August that same year, where he collected $1,600 in both instances.
As of publishing, the bonds still have not been lodged with the Bond Administrator, and Mr Adam was in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act.
He then kept the bonds at the conclusion of the tenancies without the tenants’ agreement or without a court order.
Under WA legislation, landlords are legally required to lodge bonds with the Bond Administrator by a maximum of 14 days after receiving the funds.
Magistrate Wilson said the law is designed to protect bond monies by placing it in a location separate to both landlord and tenant, and is supposed to be dealt with appropriately at the end of the tenancy.
David Hillyard, commissioner for consumer protection, said not lodging bond monies is unacceptable.
“Bond money is held securely in trust by the Bond Administrator and any delay in depositing these funds puts them at risk,” Mr Hillyard said.
“There is absolutely no excuse why bond monies are not lodged with the Bond Administrator nor any reason why they cannot be lodged within the 14 day period or sooner.
“Landlords who choose not to engage a real estate agent to manage their property should ensure they are aware of the laws that apply to them, especially for the lodgement of bond monies, property condition reports, a tenants right to quiet enjoyment and property inspections.”
My Hillyard added that landlords who fail to lodge bond monies can face criminal convictions and fines up to $20,000.