Please note that special rules during COVID-19 may affect some info in this factsheet. See our COVID-19 resource here.
This is an Aboriginal Tenants' Factsheet. For more general information see Bond.
WHAT IS THE BOND?
The bond is money you pay when you start renting.
Why do you pay the bond?
You pay it in case:
- you don’t pay all your rent
- you damage the place you are renting, or your visitors do some damage.
The money is put aside to pay the landlord if these things happen.
Where does the bond go?
The landlord or agent should send your bond money to NSW Fair Trading. It is kept safe there until you move out. The landlord should not keep your bond money.
How much bond do you have to pay?
They cannot ask you to pay more than 4 weeks rent as a bond. If you are moving into Housing NSW or Aboriginal Housing, you ordinarily only have to pay 2 weeks rent before you move in (rent in advance). However, some tenants may be required to pay a bond. For more information google 'Paying a DCJ Housing Rental Bond Factsheet'.
HOW DO YOU PAY THE BOND?
1. Pay the money to the landlord or agent. Make sure they give you a receipt. Put the receipt in a safe place.
2. The landlord or agent has to send a Bond Lodgement Form and the money to NSW Fair Trading.
3. NSW Fair Trading will mail you an advice slip with a bond number and it will say how much you paid. Keep the slip in a safe place.
If the landlord agrees, you can also pay the bond in separate payments until you have paid it all.
Where can you get help to pay the bond?
You can apply to Rentstart to help pay the bond – this is a government loan scheme to help people in need. Phone DCJ Housing on 1800 422 322 to see if you can get a Rentstart loan. They will tell you how to contact your local DCJ Housing office to get a form.
HOW DO YOU GET YOUR BOND MONEY BACK WHEN YOU MOVE OUT?
1. Do an inspection
Check through the place with the landlord or agent. Get someone to be there with you.
Fill in the condition report with the landlord or agent. You should have filled in a condition report when you moved in. You need to do another one when you move out – then the two reports can be compared.
Take some photos in case you have trouble later.
The bond is your money unless the landlord proves otherwise.
2. Get a Claim for Refund of Bond Money form
You can get the claim form from:
- NSW Fair Trading – phone 1800 500 330 (free call), or
- your landlord or agent, or
- any real estate agent, or
- Google ‘Refund of Bond Money form NSW’
- Or, if you manage your bond using Rental Bonds Online, you can claim your bond using that online system (see below).
Call your local Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service if you need help.
3. Sign the claim form
Put your bank account number on the form so the bond money can go straight into your account.
Write down a forwarding address (where you will be moving to).
Do not sign a blank claim form. Make sure you know what the form says before you sign it.
4. If you can’t agree with the landlord or agent about the bond, you can send the claim form directly to the Rental Bond Board at NSW Fair Trading.
The bond refund money will be sent to your bank account, unless there is a disagreement (see below).
WHAT IF YOU CAN’T GET YOUR BOND MONEY BACK?
There might be a disagreement. Your landlord might say that you shouldn’t get back all your bond money.
You will need some help if this happens. You may need to go to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). Call your local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service for advice.
Make sure you can get your bond money back!
- Fill in a condition report when you move in. Give a copy to the landlord or agent within 7 days of moving in. Keep the report in a safe place.
- Pay your rent on time.
- Give the right amount of notice for when you want to move out.
- Fill in your claim form for the bond.
RENTAL BONDS ONLINE
NSW Fair Trading provides a voluntary online rental bond system that allows tenants and landlords to manage their bonds. Rental Bonds Online allows payment of bonds through bpay and bank transfer.
All landlords and agents must give you the option to use the online system if you want. A landlord who requires you to use Rental Bonds Online when you do not want to may be fined $2,200.
You can find out more about Rental Bonds Online at: fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/housing-and-property/renting/rental-bonds-online.
NEED SOME HELP?
Call your local Aboriginal Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service for free advice. Find your service here.
Last updated April 2020.