4 Steps to Claim your bond from the RTBA

By Anika Legal | Thu 6th April '23

Have you left your property wondering whether and how you can get your bond back? Has your landlord refused to process the bond to you, but also hasn’t yet applied to VCAT? We’ve got you covered.

  • For more information about what happens when your tenancy ends, have a look at this page.

However, if your bond is stuck with the RTBA after you left your property, and the landlord won’t process the bond back to you or make a claim for it at VCAT, you can apply directly to the RTBA to have all or part of your bond returned without your landlord’s consent. There is no time limit for you to make this claim.

You can apply to the RTBA by following our three steps listed below!

1. Check that you have your bond number

If you don’t have your bond number, you can search your emails for any RTBA lodgement emails from when you started your tenancy.

If you still can’t find your RTBA bond number, don’t worry! You can go to the Look Up Your Bond Form:

  • Who is the Applicant? Select ‘Tenant’.
  • Tenant Email Address? Insert your email address.
  • Tenant Family Name? Insert your family name.
  • Postcode for Rented Property Address? Insert the postcode of the property that you are renting in which you are claiming your bond for.
  • Click on the ‘Submit Request’ button.

The RTBA will then send your bond number to you in an email.

2. Begin your RTBA Application

Once you have your bond number, go to the RTBA Online Form and answer a few identification questions about your bond:

  • Bond number? Insert your bond number.
  • Tenant Family Name? Insert your family name.
  • Who is the Applicant? Select ‘Tenant’.
  • Then click on the ‘Search for bond’ button.

3. Confirm your bond details

You will now be presented with the Bond Summary Screen.

  • Select the ‘Refund this bond’ option on the left of your screen.
  • Click on the ‘Submit a claim without consent’ button.
  • Date Tenancy Ended? Insert the date your tenancy ended. You can find this on your tenancy agreement.
  • Click on the ‘Proceed to terms of use’ button.
  • Tenant? Select which tenant you are from the list of tenants (if any).
  • Your Email Address? Confirm whether you still have access to the email address that appears on the screen.
  • Declaration? Tick the ‘I declare that’ box. Make sure you read the declarations and agree.
  • Click on the ‘Send email’ button.

You should then see a confirmation screen stating that RTBA has sent you an email to confirm your identity. You should check the link sent to your email as soon as possible as the link will expire after 30 minutes.

If you select the link in your email after 30 minutes, you will need to restart the process from Step 2.

4. Confirm your identity and submit your claim

The RTBA has emailed you a link to confirm your identity and begin the bond claim transaction:

  • Pay Initiator? This is how much of your bond you believe you are entitled to. We recommend you put the full amount of your bond, as your landlord will be entitled to dispute this if they want.
  • Street Address? Insert your street number and street name.
  • Suburb? Insert your suburb.
  • State? Insert ‘Victoria’.
  • Postcode? Insert your postcode.
  • Country? Insert ‘Australia’.
  • Mobile Number? Insert your best contact number.
  • BSB Number? This should be 6 digits.
  • Account Number? This should be between 8 to 12 digits.
  • Other Tenants/Property Manager? Enter the amount of the bond that you would like your other tenants or property manager to receive. It is important to note that this amount can be disputed by other tenants or the landlord/agent.
  • Click on the ‘Confirm details’ button after you have made sure that you entered all your details correctly.
  • Review your details a final time and then click on the ‘Submit claim’ button. You can also click on the ‘Back to claim details’ button if you need to make any changes.

You will now see a successful claim submission confirmation page. You should take a screenshot of this page for evidence. You can now close your window.

What happens after I apply to the RTBA?

Once you apply to the RTBA for your bond, the RTBA will notify your landlord or property agent and other tenants that you have submitted a claim for your bond. Your landlord or property agent will have 14 days from the day of the RTBA notification to approve your claim or apply to VCAT to dispute your claim. Although applying to the RTBA might not actually get you your bond back, you are effectively kick starting the process for the bond dispute to be heard by VCAT.

If your landlord does not dispute your RTBA claim by applying to VCAT and notifying you of their application, then the bond will be returned to you according to your application after 14 days (if the RTBA notified your landlord via email) or 21 days (if the RTBA notified your landlord via post).

Why shouldn’t I apply to the RTBA straight after my tenancy finishes?

Although you can apply to the RTBA for your bond as soon as your tenancy is over, it’s better to try to get your landlord or property agent to process the bond refund if possible. Your landlord or property agent can only make a claim to the RTBA without you if the claim states all the bond money is to be returned to you. This is the quickest way to get the bond repaid if there are no disputes about the bond.

  • If you apply to the RTBA straight after your rental agreement ends, you have to wait for the RTBA to send your landlord or property agent a notification. This means you have to wait 14 days, and your claim would only be processed if your landlord or property agent approves it or does not respond. Ultimately, the bond refund would take up to 21 days to process if no disputes arise.

  • But if it is your landlord or property agent who processes the bond refund and you agree to this, the bond would be released immediately.

You can check the status of your claim at any time on the Bond Summary page through the RTBA portal.

We last updated this page in March 2023. Please remember that this is only legal information. If you're thinking about taking action, you should chat to a lawyer for advice about your situation first.

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