A new electronic transaction system called BondsOnline will make it easier for West Australians to lodge and receive bonds.
What is Bonds Online?
According to REIWA, ‘BondsOnline’ operates in a similar way to online banking, with the real estate agent setting up the bond transaction for each tenant. Each tenant logs into the system and confirms the transaction using their email address and mobile phone number as their unique identifiers, which replaces the need for paper forms. The bond money is only released when the agent and the tenant agree on the amount to be returned. Any bond disputes still need to be settled in the Magistrates Court.
In summary, BondsOnline allows users real time access to:
- View records and access reports for security bonds held by the Bond Administrator relevant to the user; and
- Lodge, vary and initiate disposals of security bonds.
Department of Commerce minister, Michael Mischin, said WA tenants will now be able to receive their bond back within 48 hours through the BondsOnline system, once the electronic transaction is approved. Paper lodgements will continue to be accepted for tenants who are unable to access the new online system. The minister also stated the new system would eliminate the amount of paperwork required, therefore reducing administration, data entry and printing costs to real estate agents and the Government.
What does the new BondsOnline electronic system mean for renting in WA?
REIWA president David Airey said many tenants have experienced the frustration of not being able to get their bond back quickly when they left a rental property, but the new system should cut the waiting time to 48 hours.
“It can be hard for tenants, especially those on low and fixed incomes, to move from one rental property to another if they cannot access their original bond money. Often this can take between eight and 12 days, with some paper-based processing taking up to a month.
Now that the median rent in Perth is around $420 per week, a typical bond is currently $1,680 which is a substantial amount of money for a tenant to have to come up with. This will be a much better system to ensure that the tenant’s money is back with them at the earliest opportunity, Mr Airey said.
The new BondsOnline has been successfully trialed for the past five months by a group of real estate agents nominated by REIWA who have provided extremely positive feedback. They report that eliminating the need to process paperwork increases efficiency and productivity of their business while reducing costs and red tape. The system has been designed so it can be easily integrated into an agency’s property management software”.
Visit Western Australia’s Bond Administrator’s online system BondsOnline here.
For more information about security bonds and the bond administrator visit Department of Commerce.
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