PHOTO: Perth

An “administrative oversight” which saw a Perth real estate agency fail to lodge a number of security bonds for up to three months has led to $5,000 worth of fines.

MI Real Estate Pty Ltd, trading as Soco Realty, had accepted three security bonds from tenants but failed to lodge them as soon as practicable, or within the required 14 days prescribed by the Residential Tenancies Act.


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A statement from the Western Australian government’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety revealed that between August 2018 and May 2019, Soco Realty collected a total of $4,180 in security bonds from the tenants in Como, Cannington and South Perth, but delayed lodging them with the bond administrator.

During mediation in the State Administrative Tribunal, it was accepted that the conduct was an administrative oversight.

As a result of the misconduct, the tribunal ordered Soco Realty to pay $3,000 and fined its sole director a further $2,000.

The late lodgement of bonds is an issue the government department takes extremely seriously, according to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Lanie Chopping.

“While the majority of real estate agents do the right thing, there are a small number that do not,” Ms Chopping said.

She highlighted that this disciplinary action follows three successful prosecutions involving late bond lodgements earlier in the year, so it should serve as a lesson to other agents that penalties await those who don’t comply.