A Bill has received royal assent, which will make it mandatory for landlords and agents to be registered with Rental Bonds Online (RBO) and offer the service to new tenants as the first option for lodgement of their bond.
The introduction of section 159(1A) in the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW) will start on 30 January 2017.
The amendment does not change any other provisions in the Act, including those relating to the lodgement and claims for bonds.
What are the amendments?
The amendments ensure that a landlord or landlord’s agent, or any other person does not require or receive a bond from a tenant unless:
- The landlord or landlord’s agent is a registered user of the online rental bond service under section 157A; and
- The tenant has been invited by the landlord or the landlord’s agent to provide an address that can be used to invite the tenant (using the online service) to use the online service to deposit the rental bond with the Secretary.
If the tenant has provided an address:
- The landlord or landlord’s agent has invited the tenant to deposit the rental bond with the Secretary by using the online service; and
- The tenant has been given a reasonable opportunity to deposit the rental bond with the Secretary using the online service or has declined the invitation.
A landlord or agent who fails to invite a new tenant to lodge their bond using RBO, prior to accepting a bond, will be in breach of the Act. A penalty of $2,200 may apply (REINSW).
Agents can find out more information about the RBO here.