Disputes about bonds
The way you manage a dispute about the disposal of a bond depends on the type of accommodation you are renting.
At the end of a residential tenancy, if you can't come to an agreement about getting a disposal form signed or if a dispute arises over how the bond money should be paid out, it may be able to be resolved by negotiation, or you can take action in the Magistrate's Court nearest to the rental premises. If you can’t find a missing signatory, you will need to seek a court order from the Magistrate’s Court.
If it is necessary to seek a court order, a Form 6 Application for Disposal of Bond Money (available from the Magistrate's Court) should be completed. Either the tenant or the landlord can begin this process.
Once the form is lodged, the court will send a copy to the other party, who has three options:
- agree to settle the dispute;
- dispute the application by lodging a Form 5 Notice of Intention to Dispute Application for Disposal of Bond Money (available from the Magistrate's Court) within seven days, when the matter is set down for hearing before a magistrate; or
- ignore the notice, the court may then issue an order for the release of the bond after seven days.
If a dispute goes to court at the end of a tenancy, the magistrate will make an order as to how the bond money is to be paid out.
Remember, going to court doesn’t mean you will face high costs.
It is an offence for tenants to stop paying rent with the intention the amount owing will be taken out of the bond.
To enquire about the nearest court to you and to seek general advice on procedures, visit the Magistrate's Court website or call 9425 2222.
The court officer can not discuss with you whether they think you have a good case or not, that is for the magistrate to decide on the day of the hearing. They can, however, advise you on the forms you need to complete.
Residential parks long-stay tenancy
At the end of a residential parks long-stay tenancy, if the park operator and the tenant cannot agree on the amounts payable either party can make an application to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) for a determination on how the security bond is to be disposed of.
Regardless of who ends the tenancy, the security bond will need to be paid out. However the Bond Administrator, will only disburse the bond if the tenant/s and the park operator agree on how much each party will receive from the bond.
If there is no dispute over the condition of the property, or the tenant/s and park operator have agreed how the bond money is to be distributed, they must complete a joint application for disposal of security bond form and submit it to the Bond Administrator.
If parties can’t agree, the SAT can resolve bond disputes. For more information about the SAT and resolving bond disputes, see the section 'When things go wrong: disputes and resolution' in the park living information booklet.
It is an offence for tenant/s to refuse to pay rent with the intention the park operator will be able to recover it from the bond.
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