Costly lesson for landlord over unlodged bond

The owner of a Wellard property has been fined $2,000 and ordered to pay $740 in costs for failing to lodge his tenants’ bond.

At Rockingham Magistrates Court on 26 October 2020, Anthony Gerlando Scafidi pleaded guilty to breaching the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 following a prosecution by Consumer Protection.

The law requires a security bond to be lodged with the Bond Administrator as soon as possible and no later than 14 days after receiving it. The bond is then held in trust for the duration of the tenancy.

The court was told that on 4 April 2019, Mr Scafidi received a $1,080 security bond paid by the Department of Communities on behalf of the tenants. He was required to lodge the payment with the Bond Administrator by 18 April 2019 but failed to do so.

“The law applies to private landlords as well as real estate agents and property managers,” Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping said.

“I encourage tenants to obtain a receipt immediately after paying a bond to a landlord or agent, which will be followed by an acknowledgement sent from the Bond Administrator once the bond has been lodged.

“This prosecution serves as a timely reminder that all lessors and agents must take their legal responsibilities seriously when renting out properties.”

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