Rental Bonds and Condition Reports
Property owners and agents can charge bonds for residential rental properties. The bond protects them from financial losses they might incur if a tenant breaches the rental agreement. It is illegal:
- to collect more than one bond for one premise;
- to charge more than the equivalent of four weeks rent for bond;
- for the owner to receive a bond. All bonds must be paid to the Rental Deposit Authority (RDA). If the property is managed by a registered agent then the agent may collect the bond directly from the tenant. The bond must be deposited to the RDA within 3 days of collecting the bond.
Lodging a rental bond
What do I need to do?
Tenants: The contact information you provide on the lodgement form will be used to contact you at the end of the tenancy when the bond is claimed. To make sure that you can be contacted when you have moved, we recommend you provide a mobile number and/or email address on the lodgement form.
Information to help you complete the form is available.
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If there is more than one person paying the bond
- More than one person can contribute to a bond, even if they are not listed on the tenancy agreement.
- Each tenant must fill in the relevant section of the Bond Lodgement form providing their name and how much they have contributed.
- Only the people named on the Bond Lodgement form can claim back their bond when the tenancy agreement ends.
As part of the Private Rental Support Scheme (PRSS), tenants may apply for bond assistance through Housing Connect
If assistance is provided, the funds are transferred directly to the Rental Deposit Authority (RDA) where it is held until the bond is claimed. Tenants and property owners (or their agent) are required to complete a Bond Lodgement form including PRSS details (provided by Housing Connect) and pay the agreed tenant contribution in order to have the bond registered.
The bond cannot be claimed until it is fully registered, so tenants must make sure they submit a Bond Lodgement form with all the relevant details, regardless of whether they make a contribution to the bond.
At the end of the tenancy, if Housing Connect is to receive the full bond contribution back (ie, the owner is not making a claim on their portion of the bond), then Housing Connect does not need to sign a claim form. However, if there is a claim against the bond that will mean Housing Connect will not receive either all, or part of, the money they have contributed, it is recommended the tenant contact Housing Connect to discuss the situation.
Lodging a form
A Bond Lodgement form can be submitted either:
- With a real estate agent
- The Bond Lodgement form and bond can be lodged directly with the real estate agent.
- With Service Tasmania
- The Bond Lodgement form and bond can be lodged at any Service Tasmania shop.
- It is illegal for a private property owner to to receive and hold a bond.
- Service Tasmania will issue a receipt however it will not include any contributions made by Housing Connect. The Rental Deposit Authority will send another receipt that includes their contribution.
- By Post
- Tenants may choose to lodge the form and pay the bond directly to the RDA by post.
- The RDA will accept bank cheques or money orders however personal cheques and cash will not be accepted. Cheques or money orders should be made payable to the 'Rental Deposit Authority'.
- The RDA will post a receipt to the tenant/s.
Bond lodgement receipts
- It is very important that tenants and property owners keep a copy of the Bond Lodgement receipt.
- The receipt contains a Bond Number which is unique to the bond money that has been lodged. This number is needed when claiming the bond when the tenancy agreement ends. Information on claiming a bond is available.
- Condition reports:
Must detail the general condition of the property at the beginning of the tenancy including any pre-existing issues (eg, marks on carpet, damage or fixtures and fittings that are not working).
Photographs can be used to show the property's original condition or items that were in the property at the beginning of the tenancy.
It is very important that both the tenant and property owner/agent keep a copy of the condition report as it can be used as evidence when the tenancy agreement ends if there is a dispute about cleaning, damage or replacement of missing items during and at the end of the tenancy.
If the tenant is responsible for any damage (apart from general wear and tear), the property owner/agent may use the report to claim part of, or the entire bond to cover costs to repair the damage.