What is a bond
A bond is a payment by a tenant/resident to the property manager/landlord/owner. The bond acts as security against the tenant/resident meeting the terms of their rental agreement or their duties under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.
The bond must be lodged with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA). The RTBA will hold the bond in trust until the end of the lease. Then, the bond is:
- refunded entirely to the tenant/resident, or
- claimed in part or in full by the landlord/owner.
How to complete a bond transaction
All RTBA bond transactions (including lodgements, claims, tenant transfers, and agent/landlord transfers) are submitted as:
- an electronic transaction, or
- a paper form.
All bond transactions (including getting paper forms) must be completed through the RTBA Online website.
For information on how to prepare and complete rental bond transactions, view:
Bond numbers and other details
Bond numbers and other details are on the bond receipt.
The bond receipt is:
- emailed to all parties where an email address is provided, or
- posted to a contact address.
Tenants and residents can use their bond number and family name to look up bond details and generate paper forms though the RTBA Online website.
You can find the bond number on the receipt provided by the RTBA. If you do not have the bond number, you can search for it through the ‘Forgot your bond number?’ link on the RTBA Online website.
Property managers and landlords should log in to the RTBA Online website to see all their past and current bonds, and initiate bond transactions.
After the bond is lodged
The RTBA processes all bond transactions within two business days. Allow extra time for postage when submitting forms by mail.
Rejection of paper forms
If a landlord/property manager fills out the paper bond form incorrectly, they will get a rejection notice outlining the issues and possible remedies. If the tenant/resident provided their mobile phone number on the form, the RTBA will notify them of the rejection by SMS.
Disputes about bonds
If there is a dispute about the bond - for example, the landlord or property manager wants to claim some or all of the bond to cover damage but the tenant does not believe they are responsible - either party must apply to VCAT for a hearing about the dispute. There are no application fees for bond claim hearings. For more information, visit the Renting a home section of the VCAT website.
For more information
You can contact the RTBA on 1300 137 164 or through the online enquiries form.