A bond is a sum of money that is usually paid to the landlord or their real estate agent at the start of a tenancy to ensure that you comply with your obligations as a tenant. It is held by the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority, which means that it’s still your money and doesn’t belong to the landlord or agent. At the end of your tenancy the landlord may be able to claim all or part of the bond as compensation for any damage to the property or for unpaid rent.
There is a clear process for bonds to be lodged at the start of a tenancy and then returned or disputed at the end of a tenancy.
Unfortunately trying to recover your bond continues to be one of the top issues for tenants who contact the TUV. Common problems with bonds include claims for purported damage that is actually “reasonable wear and tear”, and landlords lodging bond disputes at VCAT without properly informing the tenant this is occurring (i.e. notices go to the premises for which the bond is in dispute but the tenant is no longer living there) or providing any evidence. All this makes it harder to get YOUR money back.
The TUV believe that bonds should automatically be refunded to tenants 10 business days after a lease concludes if no claim has been made. The bond money belongs to the tenant – it is entirely appropriate for the onus to be on the landlord to prove wrongdoing in a timely manner.
Case studies about your experiences can help us to campaign for better tenancy laws and practices. We have lots of statistics based on our research and our advice work but your stories can add a strong ‘human’ voice to our evidence base. This can be very powerful when we are talking to politicians or the media about the issues that tenants face. It can also provide good examples of real problems when we are writing submissions or newsletters.
We will never use your story in a way that could identify you unless you specifically give us your consent. Tell us your story.
You can tell the Government that they should introduce a better and quicker system for getting your bond back at the end of your tenancy.
Right now the Victorian Government is reviewing the key renting legislation that affects your rights and responsibilities as tenants (Residential Tenancies Act 1997). This means that now is the perfect time to have your say. You can help us make a difference for all people renting in Victoria by adding your voice in support.
Send an email via the form below. You can add to our message or write your own.
Quicker bond refunds
To the Residential Tenancies Act review,
Getting your bond back at the end of the tenancy can be one of the most frustrating aspects of being a tenant.
Real estate agents and landlords routinely delay refunding the bond even if there is no problem. This makes it difficult to manage your money for your new tenancy and the other costs associated with moving.
I am calling on you to introduce a system of default refund of the bond to the outgoing tenant if no claim is made within 10 business days of the end of the tenancy.