Darch landlord fined for holding bond

Stock picture.
Stock picture.

JOONDALUP Magistrates Court has fined the landlord of a Darch rental property $4000 for failing to lodge a bond with the bond administrator and ordered him to pay back the $1400 bond to his tenant.

Ive Cvitan, of Darch, entered into a rental agreement with the tenant in May 2017 when the $1400 bond was paid and a receipt was issued, however Mr Cvitan did not provide the tenant with the completed agreement nor give them a property condition report.

Failing to lodge a bond with the bond administrator within 14 days of receipt is a breach of the Residential Tenancies Act.

When the tenant moved out, she did not receive her bond back and claimed Mr Cvitan was avoiding paying it back.

Consumer Protection Commissioner David Hillyard said as the bond wasn’t lodged, the tenant had no security over the funds.

“A bond remains the tenant’s money until the landlord makes a claim on it due to unpaid rent or damage to the property,” Mr Hillyard said.

“It is not money that should be retained by the landlord to be returned at their discretion.

“The bond administrator at Consumer Protection holds all bonds securely until both landlord and tenant agree as to how much should be returned at the end of the tenancy and we can assist both parties if there is a dispute.

“Private landlords, as well as real estate agents and property managers, need to comply with the law and transfer bond payments to the bond administrator as soon as practicable and certainly within 14 days.

“There are serious consequences for those who don’t comply.”

Email consumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au or call 1300 30 40 54 for more information.