Factsheet 03: Bond
As a tenant you have rights under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and Regulation. This factsheet explains the law in NSW about rental bonds.
The bond is money you pay at the start of the tenancy as security in case you do not follow the tenancy agreement.
The landlord/agent can only ask for:
The most bond you can be required to pay is an amount equal to 4 weeks rent (that is, the rent you agreed to pay at the start of the tenancy).
The landlord/agent cannot require you to pay more (or another) bond when the rent is increased or if a new tenant moves in under the original tenancy agreement.
You cannot be required to pay a bond before you sign a tenancy agreement.
You can pay the bond:
When you pay the bond, the landlord/agent must give you:
You and the landlord/agent should sign the lodgement form.
The 'Rentstart' scheme can help people renting in the private market to pay the bond. Apply through your local Housing NSW office.
The landlord/agent must deposit the bond with NSW Fair Trading (NSWFT). For lump-sum payments:
For bond paid in instalments, the periods for depositing the bond vary according to how soon it is paid off. (Contact NSWFT for more information.)
Once the landlord/agent has deposited the bond, NSWFT will send you a deposit notice and a rental bond number. Keep these in a safe place with your tenancy agreement.
If you do not receive a deposit notice, contact NSWFT to find out if landlord/agent has deposited the bond. If the landlord/agent does not deposit the bond within the required period, they can be fined up to $2,200.
To change the names of the tenants registered for the bond, fill in a 'Change of Shared Tenancy Arrangement' form (from NSWFT). Have it signed by the outgoing and incoming tenants and the landlord/agent and return it to NSWFT. Note:
You can transfer your bond to a new tenancy if:
Fill in a 'Transfer of Bond' form (from NSWFT). Have it signed by:
Attach this form to the new 'Bond Lodgement' form.
You cannot transfer the bond if any of the tenants used 'Rentstart' to pay the bond.
At the end of the tenancy, fill in a 'Claim for Refund of Bond Money' form (from NSWFT).
If you agree with the landlord/agent about return of the bond, sign the completed form and have the landlord/agent sign it. Return the form to NSWFT by post, fax or in person. NSWFT can deposit the money into your bank account or post a cheque to your new address.
If you disagree about return of the bond, you can still make a claim. Fill in the form with the amount that you want paid to you. You do not need the landlord's/agent's signature. Return the form to NSWFT.
NSWFT will give the landlord/agent written notice that you have made a claim. If the landlord/agent does not dispute it, NSWFT will pay your claim after 14 days.
If the landlord/agent disputes your claim, they must apply to 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 decide how the bond will be paid out.
If the landlord/agent wants to make a claim from the bond without your agreement, they must give you:
They must provide these to you within 7 days of making the claim.
NSWFT will give you written notice that the landlord/agent has made the claim. To dispute their claim, you must:
The CTTT will decide how the bond is paid out.
Even if NSWFT has paid the landlord's claim, you can still apply to the CTTT for a refund of all or part of the bond. You must apply within 6 months after the bond is paid out.
The landlord/agent may claim from the bond:
The landlord/agent is not limited to claiming for the above.
On request, the 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:
If a former co-tenant disagrees about how the bond is paid out to them, they can apply to the CTTT to resolve the matter. They must apply within 6 months after the bond is paid out.
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The information in this factsheet:
• is intended as guide to the law and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice
• applies to people who live in, or are affected by, the law as it applies in New South Wales, Australia.
© Tenants' Union of NSW