Don't let bond top-ups get you down - Tenants bulletin issue 36
20 July 2022
Don't let bond top-ups get you down
Following an increase in rent, it is common for the landlord or agent to ask you to pay money to increase the security bond. Sometimes this is called a bond ‘top-up’. To do this, your landlord or agent must follow some rules.
Step one: increase the rent
Your landlord or property manager can increase the bond during a tenancy after they have increased the rent. This rent increase must use either the Form 10 for when rent is not related to your income, or the Form 11 for when the rent does relate to your income.
A rent increase cannot occur less than six months after either the tenancy started or the rent was last increased. The landlord or property manager needs to provide you with at least 60 days’ written notice of the intended rent increase using one of the above mentioned forms.
Additional information on rent increases and the forms to use is available on our ‘Rent increases’ webpage.
Step two: increase the bond
Following a lawful rent increase, your landlord or property manager can issue you with written notice to top up the security bond. Unlike the rent increase, there is no specific form your landlord or property manager must use to provide the written bond increase notice.
The written notice must state the amount of the bond increase and the date it is to be paid. This date:
- Must be at least 60 days after the date the notice is given to you; and
- Cannot be given less than six months after the tenancy started or the bond was last increased.
The amount of the bond increase depends on the weekly rent. When the rent payable under an agreement is no more than $1,200 per week, the maximum security bond can be equal to four times the weekly rent. To ask for more than four weeks’ rent as a bond is a criminal offence.
If the rent is more than $1,200 per week, there is no limit on the amount of the bond.
Rent and bond increase notices cannot be issued at the same time. A bond increase notice must be issued after the increased rent is payable.
Step three: paying the increase and receiving a receipt
You should make sure payment of the increased security bond is received by your landlord or property manager on or before the date on the notice of security bond increase.
After receiving your security bond payment, whether in full or part, the landlord or property manager must give the person making the payment a receipt for the payment. The receipt must state the date the bond was paid, the name of the person making the payment, the amount paid and the premises it relates to.
Step four: lodge the funds with the Bond Administrator
Within 14 days of receiving the additional bond, your landlord or property manager must lodge the funds with the Bond Administrator. You will receive a notification from the Bond Administrator when the bond variation has been received.
The Bond Administrator cannot accept increases in bond amounts greater than four weeks’ rent (for weekly rents of $1,200 or less) or before the date of the rent increase. In both instances, the funds will be rejected.
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