This guide covers landlords (or head-tenants) and tenants (or sub-tenants) in a Residential Tenancy. This applies to the majority of share accommodation and residential property rental situations. To confirm it covers your situation visit What is my share accommodation situation?
In Tasmania, ‘Bond’ and ‘Security Deposit’ refer to the same type of payment and is administered by MyBond, a division of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading.
A Bond is the only form of security that a landlord can require or accept from a tenant.
Only one Bond can be charged for a residential tenancy agreement, regardless of the number of tenants or changes in tenants. If there are multiple tenancy agreements for different parts of the one premises, then one Rental Bond can be charged for each of those agreements.
The maximum Bond that a landlord can require from a tenant is the equivalent of 4 weeks rent.
Example: If the weekly rent is $450, then the maximum Rental Bond is $1,800
In share accommodation it is common to charge 2 or 4 weeks rent and some landlords may choose to charge no Rental Bond.
There is no minimum Rental Bond amount and the landlord can choose not to charge a Rental Bond if they wish.
The Rental Bond cannot be increased under any circumstances, including rent increases or damage to the property.
When a Bond is paid, the landlord must provide the tenant with 2 copies of a completed condition report conducted on the premises.
The condition report must be given to the tenant before moving into the premises, and:
After receiving the 2 copies of the condition report, it is recommended that the tenant then conduct their own inspection of the premises to determine whether they agree with the description.
The tenant must return one of the copies to the landlord within 2 days. This copy must be signed by the tenant and include any additions or alterations by the tenant based on their own inspection.
Read more about Tasmania Condition Reports.
All of the Bond must be paid to MyBond.
Leasing though an Agent
When the tenant is leasing the premises through an agent, the tenant must give the Bond to the agent. The agent must then deposit the Bond with MyBond within 3 working days.
The agent and all the tenants must complete and sign the ‘Bond Lodgement’ form.
Leasing directly with a Landlord
When the tenant is leasing the premises directly from the landlord, then the tenant must lodge the Bond with MyBond. The tenant and landlord should complete and sign the ‘Bond Lodgement’ form before lodging the Bond with MyBond.
The landlord must not receive the Bond and cannot pay the Bond to MyBond.
When there are multiple co-tenants under the one agreement, all co-tenants are jointly responsible for the single Bond. When the co-tenants complete and sign the ‘Bond Lodgement’ form, they must all list their respective contributions to the Bond.
When there is a change in tenancy during a residential tenancy agreement, the outgoing, incoming and continuing tenants as well the landlord must all complete the ‘Tenant Transfer Form’. Generally, the incoming tenant will pay the outgoing tenant their contribution to the Bond. The outgoing tenant’s contribution to the Bond will remain with MyBond and be attributed to the incoming tenant.
At the end of the residential tenancy agreement, the Bond should be refunded to either the tenant or the landlord, depending on whether the tenant has breached the terms of the agreement.
A claim from the Bond can only be made after the residential tenancy agreement has terminated—i.e. the tenancy has ended with the tenant(s) leaving the premises.
The ‘Bond Claim’ form should be used regardless of who is making the application.
Duty of Landlord to Supply Claim form to Tenant
Within 3 days of a residential tenancy agreement ending, the landlord must give the tenant a ‘Bond Claim’ form signed by the landlord. If the landlord intends to claim an amount from the Bond, then the landlord must also give the tenant a notice detailing the reasons why.
Agreed or Joint Claims
When the landlord and all the tenants agree on how the Bond should be paid out, My Bond will pay out the amounts as requested. The parties should all complete and sign the ‘Bond Claim’ form.
Claims by Tenants
A tenant can make a claim without the consent of the landlord. When MyBond receives a claim form from a tenant, MyBond will send a notice to the landlord and any other tenants who did not make a claim on the form.
The landlord or other tenants have 10 days to dispute the claim. A claim is disputed by completing the ‘Rental Bond Dispute Form’ and lodging it with the Residential Tenancy Commissioner (RTC). If no dispute is lodged in time, then MyBond will pay out the Bond as requested in the claim.
Claims by Landlords
Landlords are able to make a claim from the Bond without the consent of the tenant when:
When MyBond receives a claim by a landlord without the tenant’s consent, the claim is automatically considered to be disputed and the matter will be referred to the Residential Tenancy Commissioner.
Although there is no restriction, landlords will commonly claim from the Rental Bond for:
Transferring money safely
When paying your deposit, bond or rent by cash make sure you get a receipt. With modern phones this can be as simple as an SMS or email confirming the amount, date and what it is for. Keep a copy of this incase you need it later.
Never ever transfer money to a bank account outside of Australia or use a untraceable money transfer system such as WESTERN UNION. If anyone asks you to do this on any website it is likely to be a scam and you are almost guaranteed to lose your money.
If this ever happens on Flatmates.com.au report the member immediately so we can investigate and take the appropriate action.
These legal guides provide a brief summary and introduction of the laws and regulations affecting share accommodation. They do not cover all cases in all legal jurisdictions and might not apply in your specific share accommodation situation. It is important that you use this information as a guide only and seek independent Legal Advice or consult the Relevant Acts. We do not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.