Bond

Bond is a one-off extra payment of up to 4 weeks rent which you will have to pay at the start of your lease.

A landlord requires you to pay a bond prior to moving into the rental property to cover them for any damage to the property or outstanding rent if you stop paying rent.  The bond money must be held by the owner/agent ‘in trust’ until the end of the tenancy.

Usually at the beginning of a lease, you will complete a condition report noting any damage to the property. It is a good idea to take photos of any damage. When you move out, the property will be checked by the owner to make sure it is in the same condition as when you moved in.

The cost to repair any damage to the property that is your fault, and not wear and tear, may be taken out of your bond. You can dispute claims of damage by the landlord.

Differences between states

Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory you may be asked to pay a security deposit or bond at the start of your tenancy. The maximum amount of this bond is the equivalent of four weeks rent. This amount should be returned to you within seven days of returning the keys of the property at the end of the tenancy.

If part of your bond is withheld or you cannot reach agreement about the amount to be returned to you, you should seek legal advice from the Central Australian Women’s Legal Service on 1800 684 055 or the Tenants Advice Service on 1800 812 953.

If you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander you may also wish to contact the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service on 1800 636 079.

ACT

The Office of Rental Bonds holds the bond and provides you with a receipt.

If the house is in the same condition as when you moved in and there is no rent outstanding, your bond will be refunded from the Office of Rental Bonds.

The cost to repair any damage to the property that is your fault, and not wear and tear, may be taken out of your bond. You can dispute claims of damage by the landlord.

Western Australia

From 1 July 2013, the bond must be lodged with the Bond Administrator.

If the house is in the same condition as when you moved in and there is no rent outstanding, your bond held ‘in trust’ will be refunded to you at the end of the lease.

The cost to repair any damage to the property that is your fault, and not wear and tear, may be taken out of your bond. You can dispute claims of damage by the landlord.

NSW

NSW Fair Trading holds the bond and provides you with a receipt.

If the house is in the same condition as when you moved in and there is no rent outstanding, your bond will be refunded from NSW Fair Trading.

The cost to repair any damage to the property that is your fault, and not wear and tear, may be taken out of your bond. You can dispute claims of damage by the landlord.

For useful information on your rights and responsibilities as a tenant you can contact the Tenants NSW website for factsheets.

Victoria

In Victoria, a bond acts as security against the tenant or resident meeting the terms of their rental agreement. All rental bonds must be lodged with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority.

For more information check out the following links:

South Australia

The bond acts as a security against the lease agreement. It can be claimed if there is any money owed by the tenant at the end of the lease agreement – eg cleaning costs, rent arrears.

If the weekly rent is:

  • $250 or less you can ask for up to four weeks’ rent as a bond
  • $251 or more you can ask for up to six weeks’ rent as a bond.

Tasmania

If you are renting through a Real Estate Agency, they will lodge the bond with the Rental Deposit Authority (RDA). They will send you a receipt as proof that they have received the money. If you are renting privately, you can pay the bond directly to the RDA via Service Tasmania.

If the house is in the same condition as when you moved in and there is no rent outstanding, your bond will be refunded from the RDA. For this to occur, both you and the Landlord can sign the bond claim form identifying the amount that needs to be returned.

If the Landlord intends to withhold part of your bond for damage or outstanding rent you can dispute the claim with the Rental Deposit Authority. It is best to seek legal advice if you intend on disputing the Landlord’s claim.

Please contact Women’s Legal Service Tasmania or the Tenants Union of Tasmania 1300 652 641.

Queensland

If rent is above $500 per week, there is no limit to the amount of bond that can be charged. Generally the bond is equal to 4 weeks rent.

The landlord/agent must issue a receipt for bond and pay the bond to the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) where it is held until the completion of your tenancy term. The Department of Housing offers loans to tenants who require financial assistance in paying their bond. To be eligible for a loan, you must meet the criteria set out on their website.

At the end of your lease, if there is no outstanding rent and the property is in the same condition as specified in the entry report, you may be able to receive a full refund of your bond. However, your bond may be withheld or a portion deducted if during your tenancy you damaged the property in any way.

Any disputes regarding damage to a property during a residential tenancy can be made through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).