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Rental Bonds Online improvements

8 December 2017

Improvements are being made to the Rental Bonds Online (RBO) system, thanks to a collaboration between REINSW and NSW Fair Trading.

The Property Management Chapter Committee (PMCC) met with NSW Fair Trading (NFT) at a roundtable discussion to look at issues it had found with the RBO system.

As a result of these concerns, some improvements have been planned, and explanations given in response to questions raised.

RBO issues raised

Streamlining to changing details

The PMCC asked NFT if there is facility to change shared tenancy documents online and the details of the management agent/owner. Currently this must be done manually with paper based forms. 

NFT confirmed that changing the managing agent/owner is a scheduled enhancement for RBO, with an anticipated release in early 2018. 

Claiming a bond

The PMCC raised concern that when someone leaves the business, or someone else is appointed to look after a rental portfolio, agencies experience difficulty in claiming a bond.

NFT confirmed that users with the following roles can allocate/unallocate/transfer properties:

  • Principal

  • Office manager

  • Office manager assistant.

Bonds are allocated by default to the property manager initiating lodgement, but the RBO principal or office manager can reallocate it to another property manager or override an allocation.

Can changes be made to a bond?

NFT confirmed that changes can be made during the bond creation process prior to submitting it at step three of the process by using the edit function.

Tenant exit video removed

The PMCC brought to the attention of NFT an aspect of an RBO video that was not accurate in relation to vacating a property inspection. The video showed a tenant still packing while the agent was completing the final inspection. As a result NFT removed the video from their website.

Department of Housing timeframe

The PMCC said it would be beneficial if the Department of Housing (DOH) and RBO have a better process for lodging their confirmations to allow agencies to register earlier, enabling tenants more time to lodge their payment. 

In response NFT said that the RBO had recently met with the DOH and relayed this feedback. In response, the DOH indicated that they have been working on reducing their turnaround times, which is currently averaging at 2.5 days.

Tenant link expiry date

The RBO email link sent to invite a tenant to sign-up expires after seven days. The PMCC asked if it would be possible to extend the activation time to 21 days.

In response NFT said they will amend the tenant invitation email to notify them that the link will expire in seven days.

Payment method timeframes

The PMCC said that agents experience issues with tenant’s funds not being cleared in time and asked if the system could warn the tenants of the different payment timeframes.

NFT said that in addition to existing advice displayed at the point of payment, a tenant invitation email will be amended to reiterate payment timeframes.