Changing a bond (Bond variation)

A security bond may need to be changed/varied because:

  • additional bond money needs to be lodged with the Bond Administrator, for example because the rent has been increased;
  • one or more of the tenants in a shared household has moved out or a new tenant has moved in;
  • the ownership of the property has changed; or
  • the lessor has employed a different managing agent.

Lodging changes with the Bond Administrator

Private lessors/landlords

Complete a variation of security bond form listing the relevant changes. The signed form can be lodged with the Bond Administrator by post, email or in personPlease note this form is not to be used by agents unless an exemption applies. 

Real estate agents and property managers

A licensed real estate agent must make any changes to a security bond via the BondsOnline system as an eTransaction. 

Changes in shared tenancies

In situations where joint tenants are on a bond and one, or more, decide to leave, or is replaced (with the consent of the lessor/agent/new tenant/s) it is recommended the entire bond be paid out by completing a Joint Application for Disposal of Security Bond form. This ensures the departing tenant/s are paid any monies owed. The lessor/agent should lodge new bond using a Lodgement of Security Bond Form for incoming and remaining tenant/s .

Alternately, the vacating and incoming tenant/s can settle any monies owed as a private matter by passing bond money between themselves.  Once all parties are satisfied the bond has been settled, a Variation of Security Bond form can be used to notify the Bond Administrator of the change in tenant names. The vacating tenant should not sign or electronically approve the Variation of Security Bond form until they are satisfied they are no longer owed any money from the bond.

When a signatory cannot be contacted

A tenancy bond is similar to a joint bank account where all parties to the account must sign to make withdrawals. If a tenant vacates the property, or the ownership or management of the property changes, the Bond Administrator must be provided with a signed variation of security bond form to record the changes as soon as possible.

If this does not occur and a previous tenant, lessor or agent cannot be contacted to sign the disposal form at the end of the tenancy, the Bond Administrator will not be able to refund the bond.

In a residential tenancy matter, if an original signatory is missing you will have to go to the Magistrate’s Court and apply for an order to get the bond released.

If any signatories are missing in a residential parks long-stay tenancy you will have to make an application to the State Administrative Tribunal for a determination on how the security bond is to be disbursed.

When a signatory is deceased

If a signatory has died during the tenancy, the executor of the estate of the deceased party is required to sign a variation or disposal of security bond form on their behalf.

When signing on behalf of a deceased party, the following documentation must also be submitted with the form;

  • a copy of the death certificate;
  • a copy of the will; and
  • a copy of the executor’s identification (i.e.: driver’s license or passport) for verification of their signature


  • a copy of the grant of probate ; and
  • a copy of the executor’s identification (i.e.: driver’s license or passport) for verification of their signature

If the above documentation is not available, you are encouraged to call Bonds Administration on 1300 853 829 for advice regarding your specific circumstances.

Decreasing a bond

There is no obligation on the lessor/agent to agree to partially refund the bond during a tenancy. 

However, if the lessor/agent agrees, a bond can be decreased when there has been a reduction in the weekly rent amount or a pet bond is held for a pet and the pet no longer resides at the premises.  

To request a partial bond disposal during a tenancy you will need to complete a Joint Application for Disposal of Security Bond form. 

A bond decrease can only occur during a tenancy agreement when the payment is to the tenant/s. 

The Residential Tenancies Regulations 1988 provides an exemption from section 29(8) of the Act to enable a disposal form to be signed during a tenancy for the purpose of decreasing the bond in certain circumstance.

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