Bonds Basics
What is a bond?

So, what actually is a bond? A bond is like a security deposit that is paid to the Residential Bond Authority (RBTA), and can only be used to cover liabilities such as unpaid rent, damage to the property and other matters. It is typically around four weeks’ worth of rent and it is paid upfront, before moving in. Where there is more than one tenant, it is typically divided evenly between tenants of a property.

Why do I pay a bond?

A bond essentially acts as a guarantee to your landlord that you will follow the rules set out in your rental agreement. This ensures that if you or your guests cause any damage to the property, or you miss paying certain bills or rent, then your rental provider can recover these costs and is not left out of pocket.

When do I pay a bond?

Your bond will typically be paid after you have signed your rental agreement, and before you move in. Before paying your bond your rental provider must give you a copy of the condition report of the property for you to check before or immediately after moving in. You need to return the report to your agent or landlord within 5 business days of moving in.

Completing a condition report
Where does my bond go?

Once you have paid your bond, by law, your rental provider must lodge the bond with the Residential Tenancy Board Authority (RTBA). They'll hold onto the bond money for the duration of your tenancy.

The RTBA will send you a receipt with your 'bond number' once they've received it. You can use this bond number to search for your bond on RTBA’s website.

Your rental provider has a legal duty to submit your bond to the RTBA within 10 business days of receiving the bond. If you do not receive a bond receipt from the RTBA within 15 business days of lodging your bond to your rental provider, you should notify the RTBA.

What can the landlord claim the bond for?

Your landlord can only claim your bond after you leave the property, and for certain reasons. To minimise the likelihood of them trying to claim your bond, you should:

  • Notify your landlord of any deterioration in the conditions of the property as soon as you notice it;
  • Ensure there is no outstanding damage caused to the property by you or your guests when you leave;
  • Do not take any goods that belonged to the property upon leaving, such as washing units or curtains;
  • Leave the property reasonably clean;
  • Pay all bills and rent owed to the landlord.
What should I do next?

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We last updated this page in November 2022. 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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