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Rental Bonds

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When starting a new tenancy, tenants pay a bond which is money taken as a form of security in case they breach the tenancy agreement.

All bonds taken by agents or self-managing landlords must be lodged with NSW Fair Trading. While most tenants get their full bond back at the end of the tenancy, a landlord or agent can make a claim against the bond for certain reasons, such as damage or rent owed, after the tenancy ends.

Rental Bonds Online is a service for NSW property agents, self-managing landlords and tenants to lodge and refund residential rental bond money securely and easily.

Earlier this year, changes were made to tenancy laws making it mandatory for real estate agents and self-managing landlords to offer Rental Bonds Online to tenants as their first option for lodgement of their bond. Tenants should discuss using the online service with their real estate agent or self-managing landlord.

Learn more about bonds by reading this edition of The Letterbox and visiting the Rental Bonds Online section of our website.
 

Answers to your questions on bonds

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Q: How does Rental Bonds Online (RBO) protect my personal information?

A: The RBO service uses strong security measures to protect user information and prevent unauthorised access. This includes unique user IDs and passwords to log on, as well as security questions to identify users.

Before any changes to an RBO profile can occur, the user is required to enter the security codes sent to their registered mobile phone number. For this reason, it is important for tenants to keep their mobile phone numbers and email addresses in RBO up to date.
 
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Q: I'm moving into a house with a few friends. How can we lodge our bond using Rental Bonds Online?

A: If you are a co-tenant living in shared accommodation, you need to nominate one of the tenants (whose name is on the lease) to be the 'Principal Tenant' for the purpose of the bond. The Principal Tenant acts on behalf of all the tenants for the rental bond and is responsible for:

  • registering with Rental Bonds Online and paying the bond money to NSW Fair Trading
  • providing the contact details for all co-tenants so that all tenants are informed of any changes to the bond
  • submitting or responding to a claim for refund of bond money on behalf of all the tenants at the end of the tenancy
  • distributing the bond refund to the other tenants.
When the bond has been lodged, co-tenants will receive a link by email to view the bond details. Co-tenants will also receive copies of notifications sent to the Principal Tenant, but they cannot log on to RBO or initiate bond transactions.
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Q: I have decided to move out at the end of my lease. How long will it take for my bond to be refunded?

A: If you haven't already done so, you should contact your agent or landlord to arrange a mutually convenient time to do the final inspection and fill in the outgoing condition report. This report details the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy.

If you and your landlord or agent agree on how the bond should be paid out, the fastest way to receive the bond refund is by using the online service.

Even if you don't have an RBO account, you can ask the agent to process an agreed claim using the online service. You just need to provide them with your bank account details.

Agreed claims will be refunded in 2 working days.

If you, your landlord or agent cannot agree and a claim is submitted, Fair Trading will notify the other party. They have 14 days to dispute the claim by applying to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). If they do not apply within 14 days, the bond will then be paid out as per the submitted claim.

If you decide not to use the online service, claims can be initiated using the Claim for Refund of Bond Money form available on the Fair Trading website.

Find out more about Getting your bond back on our website.
 

Tenancy Tales from the tenancy complaint service

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A tenant moved into a rental property and gave their bond directly to their landlord. After a few months, the tenant hadn't received any confirmation that their bond had been lodged, so they contacted Fair Trading.

Fair Trading checked the tenant's details and found that the bond had not been lodged by their landlord.

Fair Trading contacted the landlord to find out what had happened with the tenant’s bond. The landlord confirmed they had kept the bond in their bank account as they didn’t know they had to lodge it with Fair Trading. The landlord was provided with information on taking a bond, including the requirement to lodge the bond with Fair Trading.

The landlord lodged the bond with Fair Trading and the tenant received a letter from Fair Trading confirming the bond details, including their Rental Bond Number.

 

Don't wait until it's too late! Secure furniture safely

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Tragically, up to two children die every year from furniture or TVs toppling over. Toppling furniture and TVs also cause hundreds of serious injuries each year.

Don't wait until it's too late. Take steps to prevent furniture from toppling over by installing an anchor device.

Secure furniture and TVs using furniture straps, angle braces or anchors screwed into walls. If they are supplied with furniture or TVs, you should use them. They can also be purchased from your local hardware store or furniture supplier.

If you're renting your home, speak to your landlord or agent to get permission to install a furniture strap, angle brace or anchor to the wall. Explain why you want to install the device and assure them that if any damage is caused by the installation, you will repair it when the tenancy ends. Make sure you get the landlord or agent's approval in writing.

Watch a safety video at productsafety.gov.au/topplingfurniture to find out how you can keep your children safe.

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Australian consumer law report

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Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand has delivered its final report on the Australian Consumer Law.

The final report follows a year-long public review process and research, including the Australian Consumer Survey 2016 which involved more than 5,000 consumers and 1,200 businesses. The report identifies 19 proposed legislative reforms.

Read more about the reforms on the Australian Consumer Law website.
 

Rental bond lodgement forms

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Agents and landlords, if you need a rental bond lodgement form, download a copy through RBO. You can find the form under the Links section. Multiple copies of the Rental Bond Lodgement forms are no longer available at the shop.nsw website.

 

Need help?

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If you can't find an answer to your question, you're welcome to call us on 13 32 20.

If you have a problem with a tenant, landlord or agent that you can't resolve, remember you can lodge a complaint online to use our free tenancy complaint service.

 

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