Where you live in Australia plays an important role in what you’ll be charged for your rental bond. Here’s what you need to know.
When you rent a property in Australia, a landlord or property manager will request a rental bond from you before you start your lease.
The bond is there as financial protection in the event you breach your lease agreement, or if there are unplanned costs for the owner when you vacate the property, such as cleaning.
What you need to know about rental bonds
- Rental bonds are normally up to four weeks’ rent in most states. In VIC, QLD, WA and SA, there are some variations to this. See the table below for details.
- The bond payment is required at the start of the tenancy.
- The bond must be lodged with the state bond authority (except in NT).
- Agents do not receive any commission for the rental bond.
- A pet bond may also be charged if you live in WA.
- At the end of your tenancy, a property inspection will be conducted and costs for any repairs required (other than those associated with fair wear and tear) may be deducted from your bond.
- If you haven’t cleaned the premises to a reasonable standard the costs of cleaning may also be deducted.
- Costs for replacing locks or other security devices if you have changed these without the landlord’s consent may also be recouped from the rental bond.
- You will be required to complete a bond claim form to have your bond returned from the Bond Authority.
- Any unpaid rent and other costs, such as water will also be deducted from the bond, should there be enough bond remaining after other costs have been deducted.
- Outstanding rent is a debt you owe, and the landlord or property manager may seek a tribunal judgment against you to recover this. This could also result in a default being lodged on your rental history on the National Tenancy Database or other tenancy databases.
How much should a bond cost me?
|NSW||A rental bond cannot be more than four weeks' rent.|
|VIC||In most cases, a rental bond cannot be more than one month's rent. A rental provider can only ask for a higher bond when either (1) the weekly rent for the property is more than $900, or (2) VCAT has set a higher bond for the property or the quality of the fittings and furniture. Before March 2020, rental providers could also ask for a higher bond if they planned to live in a property at the end of the agreement. This does not apply to agreements signed after March 2020.|
|QLD||For general tenancies, the law says that if the rent is $700 or less per week, the maximum bond amount is 4 weeks' rent. If the weekly rent is higher than $700, the amount of bond should be negotiated between the property manager/owner and tenant. The law gives no maximum amount where the weekly rent is higher than $700.|
|WA||The bond must not be more than four times the weekly rent unless the weekly rent is more than $1,520, in which case the bond amount is negotiated between the property manager/owner and tenant. A pet bond can be requested if you have a pet but must be no more than $260. Tenants can't be charged a pet bond for an assistance dog.|
|SA||The maximum bond that a landlord can take for residential tenancy agreements in South Australia depends on the weekly rent. It's up to four weeks' rent if the weekly rent is $800 or less, and up to six weeks' rent if the weekly rent is more than $800.|
|TAS||A bond cannot be more than four weeks’ rent, and it cannot be increased during the tenancy in Tasmania. It is illegal for property owners to receive a bond from a tenant and for a tenant to pay their bond to a property owner.|
|NT||In the Northern Territory, the security deposit (commonly known as a bond) is equivalent to four weeks' rent.|
|ACT||Bonds can be any amount up to a maximum of four weeks' rent.|
|The table above is accurate at 13/11/23.|
Need support managing moving costs?
If you’re moving, you’ll be expected to pay a bond for your new place, even if you haven’t received a refund from your previous place.
RentBond can assist you with a rental bond loan for up to $10,000. When you get your bond back from the other property you vacated you can continue on the payment plan or pay off your RentBond without any penalty fee.
Lauren Vardy was the Content Marketing Manager at Rent.com.au between 2015 and 2023. Formerly a journalist at Fairfax Media and Rural Press, Lauren's expertise extends to various media groups in Australia and internationally, including the Esperance Express, Southeast Asia Globe, Colosoul Magazine, The Sunday Times, and more.