Rental bonds

FAQ's

All bonds received by a lessor or agent are required to be lodged in accordance with the Act.

For all complaints and the failure to lodge a bond by the lessor or managing agent, the tenant can contact the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT).

If the lessor, managing agent and or tenant/s cannot agree on how a bond should be refunded the tenant/s or lessor or managing agent may each lodge their own claim for the bond.

Where an application is made to refund bond money, (other than a joint application) written notice of the claim will be given to the tenant/s or the lessor or managing agent.

Tenant/s or a lessor or managing agent who receives notice of a claim for the refund of bond must notify the ACT Rental Bonds Office, GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601 or by email to rb@act.gov.au in writing within 10 working days of their intention to dispute the refund of the bond money. If notification of their intention to dispute the refund of bond is not received within 10 working days, the refund of bond will be processed in accordance with the first claim received. Where there is more than one tenant on a bond, the funds are refunded to the tenants in equal shares.

If a party disputes the refund of bond, any undisputed portion of the bond will be refunded, and the matter will be referred concerning the disputed amount to ACAT. Both parties will be notified that the matter has been referred to the ACAT.

The disputed portion of the bond can be refunded at any time with a completed Refund of bond form signed by all parties.

The simplest way of managing this process is to refund the bond to all parties and start a new tenancy agreement which involves refunding the current bond and lodging a new bond.

Another way of achieving this without a new bond being lodged is to arrange for the transfer of the bond on paper between the tenant/s leaving and the new tenant/s coming into the tenancy. This can be achieved by the completion and lodgement of a Transfer of tenants form (72KB) or (197KB).

All parties including the lessors or managing agents need to reach an agreement to have the tenancy modified in this way. For a transfer to occur all incoming and outgoing tenants need to provide the lessor or managing agent with a completed and signed Transfer of tenants form. This document is evidence that the tenant/s have changed and that the new tenant/s have full entitlement to the bond.

Once the form has been received by the lessor or managing agent the form must be lodged.

Please note, it is the outgoing tenant/s responsibility to ensure that they have been paid their full entitlement to the bond by the incoming tenant/s. Once the transfer of bond Form is lodged, the new tenant/s has full entitlement to the bond.

A situation that often occurs is where tenants move into a new property and would prefer that the bond automatically transfer to the new property. This can only occur if the property is managed by the same lessor or agent as the original property.

The tenant and the lessor or managing agent will need to complete and lodge a Transfer of premises form (71KB) or (176KB).  The bond will then be transferred and the amount lodged will be applied to the bond for the new property.

Where there is a change in lessor/managing agent a Change in lessor or managing agent form (68KB) or (185KB) can be completed and emailed or posted to ACT Rental Bonds.

Property managers who represent an agency often change. In order to be aware of who has the authority to act on behalf of an agent relating to a bond, each agency is required to submit an Agent's signature authority form (65KB) or (173KB) whenever there is a change in property management team. It is also important that each new agent signature authority form is signed by an appropriately authorised person within the agency such as the principal.

Where there is a change in lessor the same Change in lessor or managing agent form can be completed and emailed or posted to ACT Rental Bonds.

Where a lessor wishes to revoke the rights of the previous lessor/managing agent they can complete a Revocation of managing agent form (68KB) or (186KB), include a copy of a current rates notice and identification and send to Rental Bonds for processing. A lessor may revoke previous lessor/managing agents rights at any stage of a Bond.

Tenant/s often leave a tenancy prior to being paid their entitlement to a bond. This may be due to a dispute or simply the tenant leaving the property to lease another.

Tenants are encouraged to complete and lodge a Change of tenant's forwarding address (67KB) or (192KB) when a tenant is leaving a tenancy without the bond entitlement being finalised.

This may be used to forward correspondence regarding the tenancy or a cheque in payment of an entitlement.

Lessors are also encouraged to provide forwarding and updated details where they have rental properties.