Releasing or claiming the bond – landlords and owners

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Agreeing on the bond

At the end of a tenancy or residency, discuss with the tenant or resident how the bond money is to be divided. This discussion may include resolving issues that arise from the tenancy, such as any damage to the property or rent owing.

The agreed division of the bond should be set out on the completed Bond Claim form. This form should be sent to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) as soon as possible after the tenancy or residency ends.

It is an offence to request or obtain a tenant’s signature on a bond claim form that does not specify the amount of bond to be refunded and the distribution of that amount.

A Bond Claim form must not be signed by the tenant or resident more than seven days before they leave the property.

Note: As each bond form has a unique number, blank downloadable forms cannot be provided. However, you can request a pre-printed form to be mailed to you. Call the RTBA on 1300 137 164 or email rtba@justice.vic.gov.auCalling this number costs the same as a local call. Additional charges may apply if you are calling from overseas, on a mobile or payphone.

Once signed by both parties, the Bond Claim form must be sent to the RTBA without delay.

How to release or claim the bond

The RTBA holds all Victorian residential tenancy bonds, including those on rented premises, long-term caravans, rooming houses (buildings where one or more rooms are available to rent, and four or more people in total can occupy those rooms) and sites under site agreements.

To release or claim a bond, visit the RTBA Online website. Ensure pop ups are enabled on your web browser; otherwise you will not be able to generate the Bond Claim form.

When can I claim all/a portion of the bond?

As a landlord/agent or owner, you can try to recover the bond at the end of a tenancy if:

  • the tenant has left and owes rent (rent in arrears)
  • the tenant or resident or their visitors have damaged the property
  • there are cleaning or repair expenses that exceed normal ‘wear and tear’
  • the tenant or resident has abandoned the premises
  • the tenant or resident has left you to pay bills they should have paid
  • items that were part of the tenancy agreement are missing.

If you cannot agree on the bond

If you and your tenant or resident cannot agree on the division of the bond, you may need to apply to the Residential Tenancies List of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). VCAT will hear the case and make a decision on how the bond will be divided.

You must make a claim on part or all of the bond to VCAT within 10 business days of you becoming aware of the tenant or resident leaving the premises.