Twitter Agreeing on the bond At the end of a tenancy or residency, discuss with the tenant or resident how the bond money is to be divided. This discussion may include resolving issues, such as any damage to the property or rent owing. The agreed division of the bond should be set out in the bond claim, which should be submitted within 10 business days after the tenancy or residency ends. How to release or claim the bond Estate agents must complete bond transactions electronically, unless they have to attach paper evidence such as a VCAT order to the bond claim.
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It is still your money and does not belong to the landlord or agent. If you are asked to pay a bond, the landlord MUST: complete and sign a Bond Lodgement form from the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority RTBA and give it to you to sign at the same time you are paying the bond give you a copy of the form after you have signed it, which you should keep as a record of your bond payment.
You can also ask for a receipt, especially if you have paid in cash. You should receive confirmation from the RTBA that your bond has been lodged. If you do not receive a receipt within 15 business days you should contact the RTBA on If the landlord does not follow these laws you can report them to Consumer Affairs Victoria who can fine the landlord for breaking the law.
Generally, it is best practice not to pay a bond until after you have signed the lease agreement and received 2 copies of the Condition Report. They will provide you with a bond loan voucher, which acts as a lodgement form. You need to then give the voucher to the landlord, or agent, who will use it to lodge the bond with the RTBA.
The bond lodgement form needs to state who has paid the bond the Director of Housing, and you if you are paying part , and the amounts paid. Note: If the landlord or their agent are registered with the RTBA to deal with bond transactions online the Bond Lodgement form may be submitted electronically.
And in most cases, you cannot be asked for both a bond and a guarantee. It is often explained to tenants that it is to cover costs if the pet causes damage to the property. If you pay a bond at the start of your tenancy that bond is held as a security in case there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy over cleaning, damage or unpaid rent. If you have a pet and your pet causes any damage while you are at the property, the landlord can make a claim on your bond. You should take steps at the start of your tenancy to protect yourself from potential claims at the end of your tenancy.
If the landlord makes a claim on your bond at the end of your tenancy, you can use the condition report as evidence of what the property looked like when you moved in. Taking plenty of photos, both when you move in and then again when you move out, can be really helpful too. For more information about filling in the condition report, see starting a tenancy.
You must notify the Bond Authority within 5 days that your share of the bond has been transferred to the new tenant. You can do this by filling in a Tenant Transfer form which must be signed by you, other tenants, the new tenant and the landlord or agent and sending it to the Bond Authority.
Make sure you collect the payment from the incoming tenant before signing the Tenant Transfer form. Note: If the landlord or their agent are registered with the RTBA to deal with bond transactions online the Tenant Transfer form may be submitted electronically. Note: Damage does not include fair wear and tear, for example a worn carpet in a high-traffic area that has simply worn down with normal use.
TIP: When you are getting ready to move out, it is a good idea to compare the condition of the property to the Condition Report you completed at the start of your tenancy.
You should also compare the condition with any photos taken at that time and take new photos of how the property looks before you move out and return the keys. If you believe you have taken care of the property and are leaving it reasonably clean, and you are not transferring your bond to a new tenant, you should ask your landlord or agent to prepare a Bond Claim form to allow your bond to be returned to you by the RTBA.
This form then needs to be lodged with the RTBA, who will usually pay out the bond within 24 hours of your claim being processed. Note: If the landlord or their agent are registered with the RTBA to deal with bond transactions online the Bond Claim form may be submitted electronically. It is an offence for the landlord to give you an incomplete Bond Claim form to sign. If the landlord asks you to sign an incomplete Bond Claim form you can report them to Consumer Affairs Victoria who can fine the landlord for breaking the law.
At the end of your tenancy the landlord may try and claim part or all of your bond as compensation for damage, for cleaning, for unpaid rent, or for costs they have paid that are your responsibility. If the landlord wants part or all of your bond you have three options: you agree with the landlord about the amount to be paid to them you disagree with the landlord and apply for free to VCAT to get your bond back the landlord applies to VCAT and you go to defend your case.
You, other tenants if any and the landlord or agent must fill out the Bond Claim form, stating how much of the bond is to be paid to the landlord and how much is to be paid to you. TIP: Before you agree to the landlord having part or all of your bond make sure you are happy with the amount and that it is reasonable. See examples at how to prepare your bond case for VCAT. Check that these amounts add up to the total amount of the bond. The Bond Claim form should not be completed before the last week of your tenancy, and preferably not before the tenancy has ended.
The landlord or agent must apply to VCAT for an order that they receive all or part of the bond. You can apply any time after you have moved out.
All you need to do is complete a general VCAT application form asking for your bond back and attach your bond receipt. Note: If you want to also apply for compensation orders for problems during your tenancy you can make that application at the same time, but you may have to pay an application fee for your compensation application. You have 6 years from the loss or damage to apply for compensation.
See compensation for tenants. For bonds it is section of the Residential Tenancies Act You then need to provide complete details about your claim. If you need more space to provide all of the details of your claim, you may use separate pages to complete your details, then attach those to the application form.
Fees — there is no fee for bond applications to VCAT. You can copy, scan or take photos but make sure the copies are good enough that you can read everything clearly.
You will have three sets in total — one for VCAT, one for the landlord and one for you. Keep this safe as you will need it at the hearing. Details of where to take it are on the form. If sending it by post, keep your receipt and tracking number. Or you can submit your application online [VCAT website]. TIP: The safest way to prove service is to deliver the application and evidence in person, keeping a note of the date, time and name of the person you handed it to.
We recommend registered post so you can prove they received it keep your receipt and tracking number. The bond will be released as directed by the VCAT order. When more than one tenant is named on the bond receipt e. So, if the landlord wants to make a claim on your bond and you disagree, they must apply to VCAT. It is up to them to prove why they should have all or part of your bond and to show their claim is reasonable. If you do not agree with the landlord making a claim on your bond you need to attend the VCAT hearing to defend your bond.
If you do not receive the evidence with their application you should ask the landlord or agent to send this to you before the hearing. And let them know you will ask for the hearing to be adjourned postponed if you have not received this or if you have not been given time enough time before the hearing to assess it or get advice. You should put the request in writing so you can present it at the hearing to support a request for adjournment if the landlord produces evidence at the hearing you have not seen or had an opportunity to assess.
TIP: It is important that you provide the landlord or agent with a forwarding address. You need to make the application within 14 days of finding out about the order.
If the bond has already been paid out to the landlord, you can ask VCAT to make an order that the landlord repay you the amount they have received from your bond. If you do not turn up, the landlord could get what they ask for. This can include evidence about the condition of the property at the start and end of the tenancy such as: the Condition Report,.
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