A Highgate business has been ordered to pay almost $11,000 in fines, costs and compensation after failing to lodge or return the bond money for three Leederville units.
Newblack Nominees Pty Ltd, trading as Verandah Apartments, did not have a representative at Perth Magistrates Court on 4 September 2020 when it was sentenced for three breaches of the Residential Tenancies Act 1987, which requires a security bond to be lodged with the Bond Administrator as soon as possible or within 14 days of receiving it from the tenant.
The court was told that in 2018, Newblack Nominees received security bonds for the lease of three different units in the same complex. Two bonds were $1,560 and the other was $1,600. The company has neither lodged the money nor reimbursed the tenants.
Magistrate Benjamin Tyers fined Newblack Nominees $2,000 for each charge ($6,000 in total) and ordered the company to pay costs of $241.50, as well as compensation to each tenant in the amount of their original bonds ($4,720 in total).
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping said the repeat breaches were unacceptable.
“Failure to lodge or return the bond is an offence,” Ms Chopping said.
“This prosecution serves as a timely reminder that agents and lessors must take their legal responsibilities seriously when renting out properties.”