Bond is a one-off extra payment of up to 4 weeks rent which you will have to pay at the start of your lease.

A landlord requires you to pay a bond prior to moving into the rental property to cover them for any damage to the property or outstanding rent if you stop paying rent.  The bond money must be held by the owner/agent ‘in trust’ until the end of the tenancy.

Usually at the beginning of a lease, you will complete a condition report noting any damage to the property. It is a good idea to take photos of any damage. When you move out, the property will be checked by the owner to make sure it is in the same condition as when you moved in.

The cost to repair any damage to the property that is your fault, and not wear and tear, may be taken out of your bond. You can dispute claims of damage by the landlord.

If you are renting through a Real Estate Agency, they will lodge the bond with the Rental Deposit Authority (RDA). They will send you a receipt as proof that they have received the money. If you are renting privately, you can pay the bond directly to the RDA via Service Tasmania.

If the house is in the same condition as when you moved in and there is no rent outstanding, your bond will be refunded from the RDA. For this to occur, both you and the Landlord can sign the bond claim form identifying the amount that needs to be returned.

If the Landlord intends to withhold part of your bond for damage or outstanding rent you can dispute the claim with the Rental Deposit Authority. It is best to seek legal advice if you intend on disputing the Landlord’s claim.

For advice and information, contact the Tenants Union of Tasmania 1300 652 641.