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Bond disputes

Residential Tenancy Commissioner

The Residential Tenancy Commissioner (RTC) deals with bond payout disputes between a property owner/agent and tenant/s.  The RTC also determines applications relating to unreasonable rent increases and orders for repairs.

What is a bond dispute?

A bond dispute is where a tenant, or anyone who contributed to the bond, disagrees with the amount of bond a property owner/agent wants to claim.  Before submitting the matter for dispute, all parties should try to resolve any dispute about the bond.  The condition report, rental ledger, and any quotes or receipts for cleaning or repairs can be used.

How to lodge a bond dispute

If the matter cannot be resolved between the parties, the Commissioner will make a determination on the bond claim.   A Guide to the Residential Tenancy Commissioner (pdf, 321.2 KB) summarizes types of bond claim disputes.  It also outlines the basis for decisions made by the Commissioner.  Both parties should:

  • email: rtc@justice.tas.gov.au
  • Fax:   (03)  6173 0205
  • Post:  Residential Tenancy Commissioner, PO Box 56, Rosny Park TAS 7018. Recent changes to Australia Post's delivery times may affect how long it takes your documentation to reach us. For more information visit the Australia Post website.

The matter is referred to the Residential Tenancy Commissioner if a claim is received and:

  • the parties do not agree on how much of the bond each party should receive; or
  • only one party has signed a claim form; or
  • Anglicare or Colony 47 have contributed to the Bond and the tenant has not signed the claim.  See Housing Connect for more information on social housing.

All parties are sent a letter saying that the claim has been disputed and they have 10 days to submit their evidence to support their claim.

Evidence to support a bond claim

When there is a dispute about a bond, the RTC will ask all parties to supply information in support of their claim.  The information needed will vary depending on the nature of the claim and the specific circumstances.  Some general tips on the sort of evidence needed for the most common claims is provided below:

Type of claim

Evidence owner MUST provide

Evidence tenant may provide

Rental arrears
  • A copy of the lease agreement
  • A copy of the tenant ledger/bank statements/rent receipts
  • A document stating the period for which rent is being claimed, eg Summary of evidence form or a cover letter
  • Any Notice(s) to Vacate/Terminate (if applicable)
  • Any repair requests from tenants
  • A copy of the lease agreement
  • A copy of the tenant ledger/bank statements/rent receipts
  • Details of the date tenants moved out and the reasons for leaving early. Examples: repair requests or Notice(s) to Vacate/Terminate (if applicable)
  • An explanation for not making rental payments
Costs of repairing damage

Owners doing repairs themselves can only claim for the costs of products purchased to complete the work. A claim for the owner's time spent completing the work will not be supported.

  • Condition reports - ingoing and outgoing
  • Photographic evidence of the damage, before and after
  • Copies of correctly rendered invoices/receipts showing an approved ABN, dates and costs of repairs
  • Details of any repair requests from tenant
  • Insurance details including receipt for payment of excess (if relevant)
  • Condition reports - ingoing and outgoing
  • Photographic evidence of the damage/non-damage
  • Explanation of the damage and details of any:
    • report of damage to the owner/agent
    • attempt to repair the damage
    • professional reports obtained in relation to the damage
Cleaning/gardening costs

Owners doing cleaning and gardening themselves can only claim for the cost of products purchased to complete the work. A claim for the owner's time spent completing the work will not be supported.

  • Condition reports - ingoing and outgoing
  • Photographic evidence of cleaning required
  • Copies of correctly rendered invoices/receipts showing an approved ABN, dates and costs of cleaning
  • Receipts for cleaning/gardening products, tip fees, trailer hire etc
  • Condition reports - ingoing and outgoing
  • Photographic evidence
  • Copies of receipts showing the dates and costs for cleaning and/or gardening work completed
Water usage
  • A copy of the water bill(s) from the provider
  • Meter readings taken immediately before and after the tenancy
  • A claim can only be made:
    • where the property has an individual meter; and
    • the water usage charge relates to the period of the tenancy,
  • A claim cannot be made for any fixed/infrastructure charge(s)
  • A copy of the water bill(s) from the provider
  • Receipts for any payment(s) made
  • Meter readings taken immediately before and after the tenancy
Advertising

An owner can claim reasonable costs in advertising a property when a tenant leaves a significant time before the lease ends

  • Copy of the lease agreement
  • Date tenant vacated the property and returned keys
  • Details of advertising
  • Advertising tax invoice
  • Copy of the lease agreement
  • Reasons for vacating early
  • Reasons why the owner should not be entitled to advertising costs
  • Any supporting information such as requests for repair or Notice(s) to Vacate/Terminate

How to lodge your evidence

Evidence can be lodged by:

  • Email: rtc@justice.tas.gov.au
  • Fax:   (03) 6173 0205
  • Post:  Residential Tenancy Commissioner, PO Box 56, Rosny Park TAS 7018. Recent changes to Australia Post's delivery times may affect how long it takes your documentation to reach us. For more information visit the Australia Post website.

What happens next?

What happens if you disagree with the decision?

  • You have 7 days to appeal the matter in the Magistrates Court of Tasmania if you disagree with the RTC's determination.
  • If an appeal is not lodged, the Rental Deposit Authority will pay out the bond on the date specified in the determination.
  • If an appeal is lodged, the Rental Deposit Authority will pay out the bond only after a magistrate has made a ruling.

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