|Rental Bonds Online: coming to all new tenancy agreements?|
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...