What is a bond and how much can be charged?
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, such as damage to the property or chattels, outstanding water usage charges or unpaid rent. When a tenant pays the bond, the lessor must give a receipt on the spot, showing the:
- name/s of those who paid,
- date and
- address of the rental premises.
The bond is the tenant's money and must be lodged with the Bond Administrator (Consumer Protection) until the end of the tenancy. If more than one person has paid the bond (such as in a shared house), it is important the names of all the parties appear on the lodgement form, to protect everyone’s share. The Bond Administrator will send a record of payment of security bond directly to the tenant/s.
If the tenant is permitted to keep pets capable of carrying parasites which can affect humans a pet bond can be charged. However, lessors can not charge a pet bond for an assistance dog.
Are you using the right bond form?
You must submit the most current form when completing a bond transaction for residential tenancies and residential park tenancies. Submissions using old, or unapproved, forms will not be accepted and will be returned.
Residential tenancy bond amount
The bond must not be more than four times the weekly rent; unless the weekly rent is more than $1200 per week.
Residential parks long-stay tenancy bond amount
The security bond must not be more than four times the weekly rent.
If the tenant is permitted to keep pets capable of carrying parasites which can affect humans, a pet bond may be charged. The pet bond can only be applied to the cost of any fumigation of the premises that may be required at the termination of the tenancy.
Lessors/agents must lodge the security bond as a single amount, specifying the amount taken as pet bond. A maximum amount of $260 may be charged for a pet bond, irrespective of the number of pets being allowed.
Tenants must not be charged a pet bond for an assistance dog.
Some tenants will arrange for the security bond to be paid to the owner (or their agent) on their behalf by the Department of Communities (formerly the Department of Housing or Homeswest). In effect, this money is a personal loan from the Department of Communities to the tenant to help them rent in the private sector. A security bond provided by the Department of Communities must be dealt with like any other person's bond.
Bond replacement products
Tenants are advised to be wary of products advertised as cheaper alternatives to rental bonds, known as bond replacement products. They are not legal in Western Australia.
The following pages provide more information about how to lodge, vary and release a bond.
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