Frequently asked questions
What is a Bond?
A bond is a sum of money that the landlord can request the tenant to pay as a form of security in case the tenant break the terms and conditions outlined in your tenancy agreement (eg., hanging pictures on the wall when you were told not to).
How much should the Bond be?
The bond can be no more than 4 weeks rent. So, if the tenant's rent is $200 per week then the bond can be no more than $800. This applies to both furnished and unfurnished properties.
How can the Bond be paid?
The bond can be paid in cash, bank cheque, or bank transfer. It is against the law for a landlord to make the tenant pay the bond in the form of personal goods or services.
Although most landlords request the bond to be paid in full, it is also acceptable for the tenant to pay the bond in instalments. In this situation the landlord can keep the part instalments until the full bond amount has been received. This entire bond will then need to be lodged with NSW Fair Trading within 10 working days (see below - 'can the landlord keep the bond?'). Please note that if these part payments exceed more than 3 months, however, the landlord will need to lodge what they've received in 3 monthly cycles.
When should the tenant pay the Bond?
The bond should be paid shortly after the tenant signs the tenancy agreement, not before.
What kind of property damage will/will not affect the Bond refund?
A tenant is not liable to pay for the deterioration of belongings/the property caused from wear and tear across time. For example, faded curtains or paint, traffic marks on the carpet, loose door hinges/ handles, cracks in the wall from movement, or water stains on the carpet caused from leaking roof or bad plumbing.
A tenant is liable for any direct damages that have been caused to the property. For example, carpet burns/stains, missing/broken items, holes in the wall, or broken glass, etc.
How does the Bond get refunded?
In order to make a claim for part or the entire bond, the landlord/tenant needs to fill out a claim form and lodge it with Fair Trading - Example of Claim Form.
If the tenant and landlord both agree on the bond amount, both should sign the form before submitting it to Fair Trading. This way, the bond will be paid without delay.
If the tenant and landlord don't agree on the bond amount, the landlord or tenant can lodge the form without the other's signature, but must send any evidence of the claim to the other party within 7 days (eg., their Condition report, and estimates, invoices, or receipts for the work). After the form has been lodged by either the tenant or landlord, a notice from Fair Trading will be sent to either party asking them to settle the matter directly, or contest the claim if they don’t agree by applying to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal within 14 days.
If a claim is not made to the Tribunal, then the bond will be paid out as requested by the person who sent in the claim form.
If a claim is made to the Tribunal, then the bond will be held by Fair Trading until the matter is resolved. Either party will also need to attend a hearing at the Tribunal and present evidence to back up their claim.
Please note - after the bond has been paid out to either the landlord or tenant, either can still apply to the Tribunal within 6 months if you don’t agree.
Does a Bond need to be paid?
It is up to the landlord whether a tenant will need to pay a bond or not. In most cases, a bond will be requested (up to 4 weeks rent).
Can the landlord keep the Bond? If not, where does it need to be lodged?
No, this is not allowed. All bonds need to be lodged with NSW Fair Trading. A 'Rental Bond Lodgement Form' must be completed by the landlord, and signed by the tenant before paying the bond. Forms are available from any Fair Trading Centre or by calling 13 32 20 (the landlord should obtain this form for the tenant). Lodgement of the form and money must be done within 10 working days from receiving the bond.
After the bond has been processed by Fair Trading, the tenant will receive confirmation of bond lodgement, as well as a unique bond number. Please keep this confirmation letter safe.
Should a reciept be given after Bond payment?
Yes, a receipt, or record of payment details on the tenancy agreement, must be given by the landlord to the tenant within 3 days after bond payment has been made.
Can only one Bond be charged during a tenant's stay?
Yes, you can only request 1 bond payment (up to 4 weeks rent). You cannot ask the tenant for top-up bond payments.