At the beginning of the rental agreement, all tenants/residents are required to pay a bond to the landlord, property manager, or owner. It serves as security should the tenants or residents fail to meet their obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. The Victorian Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) holds the bond until the end of the lease. Releasing the bond is not an automatic process, however, since new legislation coming into effect on March 29th 2021, tenants/residents and landlords/property managers/owners alike have to follow a standard procedure to meet conditions and have the bond monies released.
How To Claim a Bond
Whether you are the landlord, property manager, or tenant, you have two ways to claim a bond.
- Visit: https://rentalbonds.vic.gov.au
- Wait for an email about claim details
- Accept the claim details or request changes
- Wait for the money to be deposited into the bank account provided
- Search your bond details online: https://rentalbonds.vic.gov.au
- Print out the bond claim form
- Make sure the amount to be received is indicated
- Have it signed by the landlord or property manager
- Mail to:
Locked Bag 007
Wendouree VIC 3355
How Long Does it Take to Claim the Bond?
If there are no disputes or problems, you should receive the bond in two business days. You have up to 14 days to claim it.
How the Bond Gets Repaid
- Local Australian bank.
- Cheque (if a local bank is not available)
- International bank transfer for a fee (if your bank doesn’t accept cheques)
Reasons a Bond Will Not Be Returned in Full
There are instances, however, when you, as the tenant or resident, cannot claim your bond in full. Below are the most common reasons:
- You or any of your visitors have damaged the property
- You have rent in arrears after you left
- You have abandoned the property
- You have unpaid bills
- You misplaced or lost items that are part of your agreement
- The place needs cleaning and repairing, which exceeds the fair wear and tear
Our Tips for Getting your Bond Back in Full:
- Remove picture hooks from the walls
- Repair the hole and make good
- Touch up paint around the home
- Remove rubbish or arrange skip hire
- Clean all windows
- Tile and grout cleaning
- A high-pressure wash of outdoor areas
- Call in a service such as Hire a Hubby who can perform all these tasks (and more) in one visit.
Our clients know they can call on us if they require trades or services, especially when it comes to complying with tenant obligations. Last month we had a client who loved the house we had inspected for them. However, there was no gate or fence on the side of the home to enclose their pet. The landlord approved the erection of a fence at the tenant’s cost. We called on Hire a Hubby to install a fence and gate. They also installed a “no damage pet door” in the laundry and tidied the garden before the family arrived! Great service.
New Rental Laws in Victoria
With the new rental laws coming into effect in March 2021, you are expected to have the entire home professionally cleaned at the end of your rental agreement. Our advice would be to ask the estate agent which cleaning company they would recommend. The estate agent is far more trusting if you use their preferred supplier.
These new laws also allow the tenant to apply for their bond to be returned. Previously it was only the estate agent who could complete this application. To have your bond returned quickly, you can now apply on the RTBA website directly.
Give the estate agent as much notice as possible that you will vacate. Make appointments early on with the agent for key returns and any administration tasks. This way you are not trying to make an appointment at the last minute and have to wait.
If you are looking for a one-stop-shop to manage your relocation, we at Personnel Relocations can help you. We understand that every relocation is different and each one has different goals.
To contribute to your settling in Australia, we have alliances with experts such as relocation mentors, life coaches, cross-culture trainers, baby equipment hire, business communication specialists, local and international furniture removals, interior designers, decluttering, unpacking and setting up trades services who can help with specific needs. It is not unusual for Personnel Relocations to handle the full suite of relocation needs, all from just one call.