Bond Money & Rental Freeze

Nov. 15, 2017, 10:47 a.m.

rent bond

Bond money by tenants should not be used as commission, realtors were reminded at a recent real estate workshop.

Fiji Commerce Commission deputy CEO, Seymour Singh, highlighted that this was misleading and deceptive conduct.

“The engagement of a real estate agent is a contract between a landlord and the agent, and any feeds or commission should be borne by the landlord and not the tenant,” he said.

Realtors were reminded that bond money should be refundable to tenants at the end of their tenancy and not to be used to pay for a service engaged privately by their landlord

He said landlords could only deduct commission from the rent money and not from the bond given by their tenant.

The issue of rising rent was also highlighted, with Mr Singh noting that a rental freeze implemented in 2007 is supposed to prohibit the increase of rental prices.

“The rental prices from 2007 should remain the same, even if a landlord’s tenants change. There should be no increase in rent.”

Concerns on this were also noted by realtors, who said that increased rental prices should be considered for some properties that underwent renovation or refurbishment, as a means of covering the financial investments in upgrading.