Perth estate agency Acton Cottesloe fined $10,000 for late bond lodgement

Dalgon Pty Ltd, formerly trading as Acton West and now trading as Acton Cottesloe has pleaded guilty to 27 charges of failing to lodge security bond money with the Bond Administrator ‘as soon as practicable’ as required under the Real Estate and Business Agents Act.

Western Australia's consumer protection department has said the company was ordered to pay court costs of $275.

Consumer Protection has warned real estate agents, property managers and landlords about late bond lodgements following the fine issued by the Perth Magistrates Court.

Consumer Protection told the court that the bond money totalling almost $60,000 was collected between February and November 2011 from 27 tenants who had rented properties in various suburbs including Mosman Park, Nedlands, Cottesloe, Claremont, Wembley Downs and Maylands.

At the time of the offences, the agency was required to either lodge the bonds with the Bond Administrator (administered by Consumer Protection) or in a separate tenancy bond trust account with an authorised financial institution, as soon as practicable.

From 1 July this year, all bonds must be lodged only with the Bond Administrator.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said, in the Acton case, bonds were being lodged with the Bond Administrator one to three months after collection and the agency had been previously warned.

“For real estate agents, there should be no reason why bonds cannot be lodged the following business day,” Driscoll says.

“Consumer Protection will take action against agents or landlords who retain these funds for an unreasonable amount of time and fail to comply with the law.”

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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