Rental and Security Bonds
Rental Bond (security deposit) is an amount of money paid by the tenant as security for any future possible breaches of the tenancy agreement. A Landlord can claim part or all of the bond money should the tenant owe money for rent, damages or other costs at the end of the tenancy.
The amount of bond to be paid must be written on the Tenancy agreement. Bond received must be sent to the relevant Rental Bond authority using the form required in your state (see below).
A rental bond must be in the form of money and not as a guarantee.
- The tenant needs to sign the lodgement form.
- Ensure you give the tenant a Bond Receipt immediately. The receipt must specify the date, the person’s name, the amount paid and the address of the premises for which it is paid.
- Send the form with the money to the Relevant Rental Bond Authority applicable for your state within: 7 days SA, 10 working days QLD, NSW and VIC, 14 days WA of receiving it.
- The Rental Bond Authority will send a notice to advise when they have received the bond. If you have not received an official receipt within a few weeks it is a good idea to contact the Authority to ensure the money has been received.
If a tenant cannot afford the bond you may wish to let them pay the bond in installments, don’t forget to issue a receipt and put in writing the agreed terms on which the tenant is to pay the installments, weekly, amount etc. NSW Once the total bond amount has been paid promptly lodge with the relevant Rental Bond Authority using the required form. This must take place within 3 months. QLD Landlords must lodge each installment within 10 working days using part-payment of rental bond (Form 7)
Bond Amounts / Forms
NSW: NSW Fair Trading
The maximum rental bond that can be received is:
1. 4 weeks rent for unfurnished premises.
2. 4 weeks rent for fully furnished premises
Please note – The Lodgement form is not available for downloading as it has a unique barcode required for internal processing purposes only, this form can be purchased from your local Newsagent.
ACT: Office of Regulatory Services
The maximum rental bond that can be received is 4 weeks.
QLD: Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA)
The maximum rental bond that can be received is:
1. 4 weeks rent if the rent is $700 per week or less
2. If the rent is more than $700 per week there is no limit on the bond that can be taken.
VIC: Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA)
You cannot ask for anymore than one month’s rent unless the rent exceeds $350 per week or unless the agreement states that your tenant is renting you principal place of residence and that you intend to resume occupancy at the end of the tenancy.
To lodge the bond visit RTBA Online
WA: In general you can not ask for more than the equivalent of 4 weeks rent for a security bond, the following exceptions apply:
- The bond is negotiable, if you have been living in the property for the past three months immediately before the agreement was made.
- If the weekly rent is more than $1200 per week, then the bond is negotiable ($1200 as at 1 June 2011 – for agreements made before 1 June 2011 the amount was $500)
- If you permit your tenants to keep cats or dogs on the property an additional amount of no more than $260 (regardless of the amount of pets) can be charged as a pet bond to meet the cost of fumigation at the end of the tenancy. The amount is effective from 1 June 2011, prior to that a pet bond could be no more than $100. Make sure this is written into your agreement.
You do not have to ask for a security bond but if you do you must immediately issue the tenant with a written receipt when the bond is received, lodge the security bond within 14 days to the Bond Administrator (all bonds must be transferred to the Bond Administrator within 18 months from 1 July 2013).
You can also lodge bonds at a DOCEP regional office. The service is free and the interest on residential tenancy bond accounts goes towards the cost of administration, dispute resolution and tenancy education.
You must give a copy of this record to your tenant within 28 days of paying the money to the bond holder.
If you have more than one rental property you must have separate bond accounts for each property.
Security Bonds can be increased every 6 months if there has been a rent increase.
The maximum security deposit that can be received is 4 weeks rent.
The Landlord holds the security deposit in trust for the tenant and must pay it back to the tenant at the end of the tenancy (provided there are no claims against the security deposit) within 7 business days
At the end of the tenancy agreement the Landlord may claim the following from the security deposit:
- unpaid rent
- damage to the premises
- cleaning of the premise left unreasonably dirty
- replacing lost property
For you to retain any or all of the security deposit a notice must be given to the tenant stating how much you wish to retain, what it is for, attach receipts and other supporting documentation.
This supporting documentation includes a statutory declaration attesting to the truth of the claims being made and that receipts, invoices and other documents attached to the declaration relate to the matters in respect of which part or all of the security deposit being withheld. You must return the portion of the security deposit not being claimed.
TAS: Rental Deposit Authority (RDA)
The Maximum Rental Bond that can received is 4 weeks rent.
SA: Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Tenancies Branch
The maximum security bond that may be received is:
1. 4 weeks rent
2. However, if the rent exceeds $250.00 per week, the maximum amount of bond that may be required is six 6 weeks rent.
Rental Bond Transfers
Rental Bond Authorities allow a transfer of bond from the previous place the tenant resided to you:
NSW Transfer of Bond
QLD Transfer of Bond (form 3) – Transferring bond money from one property to another is only allowed where the lessor, agent or manager/ provider remains the same.
VIC Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) Online Transfer Bond
WA: Notice of Variation of Security Bond (Form 9) if the Bond Administrator holds the bond
TAS: Tenant Transfer Form