Information on security bonds and rental tenancy
LATEST UPDATE: Read more about the coming changes to the residential tenancy laws from 1 July 2013.
A security bond is a payment made in advance by a tenant to cover any costs for which the tenant may be liable at the end of the tenancy.
The bond is the tenant's money and must be held by the landlord in trust until the end of the tenancy. The bond cannot be used by any party or person unless by written agreement or by a court order.
Amount for a residential tenancy bond
The bond must not be more than four times the weekly rent; and the pet bond must be no more than $260 (if the tenant is permitted to keep a cat or dog on the premises) unless -
- (i) the weekly rent is more than an amount set by regulation (this was $1200 per week as at 1 June 2011); or
- (ii) the premises was the private residence of the owner for at least three months before the tenancy was entered into. In this case, owners should tick the box provided on Form 8.
Amount for a residential parks long-stay tenancy bond
- The security bond must not be more than four times the weekly rent.
- A long-stay security access bond of no more that $100 may be required for keys, remote control entry devices or other security devices.
- A pet bond of no more than $100 may be required if the tenant is permitted to keep a cat or dog on the premises.
Bond assistance from the Department of Housing (formerly Homeswest)
Some tenants will arrange for the security bond to be paid to the owner (or their agent) on their behalf by the Department of Housing. In effect, this money is a personal loan from the Department of Housing to the tenant to help them rent in the private sector. A security bond provided by the Department of Housing must be dealt with like any other person's bond.
Lodging bonds with the Bond Administrator
The publication, Bond administration - A guide [PDF 112kb], provides useful information to property owners, real estate agents and residential park operators who want to lodge tenants' security bonds with the Department of Commerce's Bond Administrator.
A new guide has been developed to coincide with new tenancy laws commening 1 July 2013.
Other useful topics:
- Lodging a bond
- Varying a bond
- Pet bonds
- Disposal of a bond
- Can't agree or having other problems?
- Links to the bonds forms can be found here