TenantsTips / Australia / What is a Bond for a Rental Property

What is a Bond for a Rental Property

The bond acts as a form of financial security in case a tenant does not follow the terms of an agreement.

How do Rental bonds work?

Bonds can only be paid in money. There can only be one bond per tenancy agreement and a landlord or agent cannot ask you to pay a bond before you sign a tenancy agreement. The maximum bond payable cannot be greater than 4 weeks rent.

When the landlord receives the bond they must deposit it with NSW fair trading. Once NSWFT receives the deposit they will send you a deposit notice and a rental bond number. Keep this safe alongside your tenancy agreement.

When do I pay a bond?

A bond is payable upon signing a tenancy agreement. The bond can be paid as a lump sum or if the landlord agrees, in instalments starting from when you sign the tenancy agreement.

Can I get help?

You may be eligible for financial help from the ‘Rentstart’ scheme if you are renting in the private market. Applications can be made via your local housing NSW office.

Can a bond be transferred?

A bond can be transferred onto a new tenancy if the tenants named on the tenancy agreement are moving to a new property and the landlord of the original tenancy agrees and is not claiming any of the bond.

To transfer your bond you will need to complete a ‘transfer of bond’ form from NSWFT. This must be signed by all the tenants named on the bond deposit notice and the landlord. The form should then be attached to the new ‘bond lodgement’ form.

What about changes to a shared tenancy?

To change the names of tenants registered for the bond you will need to fill in a ‘change of shared tenancy’ form from NSWFT. It should be signed by the landlord and all outgoing and incoming tenants and then returned to NSWFT. To benefit from this option at least one of the original tenants must remain in occupation and this form can only be used by tenants who have not used ‘Rentstart’ to help them pay the bond.

Can I claim back a Rental bond?

If you have met the terms of your tenancy agreement the bond should be returned to you at the end of a tenancy. To claim you will need to fill in a 'Claim for Refund of Bond Money' form (from NSWFT). If there is no dispute over the return of the bond, sign the form and ask your landlord to sign it. Return the form to NSWFT. You can do this by traditional mail or hand it in personally. NSWFT can deposit the money into your bank account or post a cheque to your new address.

If you and the landlord disagree about the return of the bond, you can still attempt to get your bond back. Complete the form with the amount that you believe you are owed. You do not need permission or the signature of your landlord. Return the form to NSWFT. NSWFT will then give the landlord/agent written notice that you have submitted an application. If your claim is not disputed by the landlord, NSWFT will pay you within an agreed time frame. If the landlord/agent disagrees they should notify the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) within 14 days of receiving the notice and tell NSWFT in writing that they have done so. The CTTT will then make a decision on how the bond will be paid out.

Can former co-tenants get a bond refund?

Yes, upon request, remaining tenant/s must pay back a former co-tenant's bond – less any rent owed or other reasonable costs, within 14 days of the request. This does not apply if the former co-tenant's liabilities exceed the amount of bond they paid, or the former co-tenant has been excluded from the premises by a final apprehended violence order. If a former co-tenant disagrees about how a bond is paid, they should make an application to the CTTT. Applications must be submitted within 6 months after the bond is paid out.


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