Releasing or claiming a bond (Bond disposal)

At the end of a tenancy, bond money will only be paid out if:

  • all tenants and the lessor agree;  
  • a court order is obtained from a magistrate for a residential tenancy agreement; or 
  • an order is obtained from the State Administrative Tribunal for a residential parks long-stay tenancy agreement.

Lodging a release or claim of a bond

Private lessors/landlords

Joint Application for Disposal of Security Bond form must be signed by the lessor/s and tenant/s and submitted to the Bond Administrator by post, email or in person.  Please note, this form is not to be used by agents. 

Real estate agents and property managers

A licensed real estate agent is required to request disposal of a security bond via the BondsOnline system as an eTransaction.

Completing the form

The form should be completed and signed by all parties when there is no dispute over the condition of the property on handing it back to the lessor or all parties have agreed how the bond money should be divided to pay for any costs for which the tenant may be liable at the end of the tenancy for example damage to the property or outstanding water usage charges.  While the bond may be used for unpaid rent, it is against the law to leave some rent unpaid at the end of the tenancy in the belief the lessor will just take the amount owing from the bond.  

Important: Make sure the parties and amounts are filled in on the disposal form before signing it. NEVER sign a blank or partially completed form

If a signature is missing for whatever reason the Bond Administrator cannot legally pay out a bond.


If parties cannot agree on how the bond should be paid out or if there is a missing signature it will mean that a court order (residential tenancy) or tribunal order (residential parks long-stay tenancy) will be required. The Bond Administrator cannot hear arguments about who is right or who is wrong, or give consideration to special circumstances such as missing person.

Only a magistrate has the power to settle such matters in a residential tenancy matter or the State Administrative Tribunal in a residential parks long-stay tenancy matter. Further information is on the disputes about bonds page.  

When a person cannot be contacted

A tenancy bond is similar to a joint bank account where all people 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 person is missing you will have to go to the Magistrate’s Court and apply for an order to get the bond released.

If any people 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 person is deceased

If a person has died during the tenancy, the executor of the estate of the deceased person is required to sign a Variation or Disposal of Security Bond form on their behalf.

When signing on behalf of a deceased person, 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.


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