Friday, December 9, 2016

21st Century Bonds - part 3

If you haven't already heard about the Rental Bonds Online service, chances are you soon will.
Rental Bonds Online: coming to all new tenancy agreements?
That's because the NSW Government has just changed to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 to make it more or less mandatory for your next landlord or their real estate agent to tell you about the service, which allows tenants to electronically transfer a rental bond payment directly to the Rental Bond Board. This is great, as it means you'll no longer have to hand over wads of cash, or go out of your way to get bank cheques or money orders in order to pay a bond. It also means landlords and agents won't even have to see your bond money at all - unless they become entitled to some of it at the end of your tenancy...

The Government has made this change because, to date, only a relatively small number of new tenancies have had a bond lodged via the online service. This is despite a high number of landlords and agents having registered to use it, suggesting that many are not telling tenants about it. Instead, they continue to take tenants' bond money to lodge with the Rental Bond Board themselves.

The change will come into force on 30 January 2017. From that time on, a landlord or real estate agent will be prevented from "requiring or receiving a rental bond from a tenant" unless they have registered to use Rental Bonds Online, and have given the tenant an opportunity to pay their bond to the Rental Bond Board directly, using the service. The only way landlords and real estate agents will be able to lawfully avoid telling you about the service will be to refrain from taking a bond in the first place.

No doubt we'll be hearing more about this over the next couple of months...

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