What happens to my bond if I'm moving out, and someone is taking my place?

By Anika Legal | Sun 9th July '23

As a renter, you likely paid a bond at the start of your rental agreement. The bond is not held by your landlord or the real estate agent, it is held by an independent body called the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority or the 'RTBA'.

In most cases, when a rental agreement ends, the RTBA returns the bond to the renter. If your landlord can show that you caused damage to the property or owe rent or have not left the property clean, the RTBA might return some or all of the bond to your landlord.

If you want to move out of the property and someone else wants to take your place, you are transferring the rental agreement to the other person.  When this happens, the RTBA will not return your bond.

Instead, everyone involved – you, your replacement and your landlord – must inform the RTBA that you are transferring the rental agreement. To start the transfer you need to tell the real estate agent of your plans. You should do this in writing if you can. 

You should explain to the real estate agent:

  • that you and your replacement have agreed to transfer the tenancy
  • the date that you intend to move out
  • the date that your replacement intends to move in, and
  • that your replacement has agreed to give you the amount of money equivalent to your share of the bond.

If your landlord agrees to the transfer, the real estate agent will inform the RTBA of the transfer. You and your replacement will receive separate emails or text messages from the RTBA asking you to confirm the transfer. You should make sure that you have received the bond amount from your replacement before you confirm the transfer to the RTBA.

When everyone has approved the transfer, you will receive a receipt from the RTBA confirming that the transfer has been successful.  From this point onwards, the bond is held by the RTBA in your replacement's name.

If your bond was not lodged with the RTBA when you started your tenancy at the property, go to 'What do I do if my landlord didn't lodge my bond with the RTBA?' for more information.

We last updated this page in July 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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