The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act) outlines the rules for the collection, management and refund of rental bonds in Queensland. The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) administers the Act and holds more than 631,000 rental bonds (as at 30 June 2021) for Queensland tenancies.
A rental bond is money paid by the tenant at the start of a tenancy agreement. The bond is paid back to the tenant when the property is vacated, provided no money is owed for rent, damages or other costs.
In this 25-minute webinar, you’ll learn practical tips to manage your bond and refresh your essential knowledge on:
- the bond lifecycle – starting, during and ending a tenancy
- legislative requirements for bond lodgement and refunds
- how to lodge a bond – online using RTA Web Services and paying via BPAY or credit card, or by posting in a completed paper form and paying via cheque/money order or BPAY
- making changes to the bond – topping up/increasing or transferring to new property
- changing the bond contributors or property managers/owners
- how to make bond refunds quicker and easier
- understanding bond processes and timelines, including the digital 48-hour Fast track, Notice of claim and dispute resolution processes
- claiming a bond in a domestic and family violence situation
- how property managers/owners can access and use RTA eServices.
Lodging a bond and increasing a bond balance
Either the property manager/owner or tenant can lodge a bond with the RTA. You can lodge a bond online via RTA Web Services or by posting a completed paper Bond Lodgement form (Form 2) along with payment via cheque, money order or requesting a BPAY reference number. If a rental bond is taken, it must be lodged with the RTA within 10 days of receiving it. It is an offence not to do this and penalties apply.
If there is a rent increase during a tenancy, the bond can be increased if it has been at least 11 months since the last increase or the start of the tenancy. In some situations, it may also be necessary for a tenant to make regular instalment payments to total the bond balance. The process of increasing the bond is the same as lodging the bond and can be completed using RTA Web Services or a paper form.
Tip: Keep your bond number handy and read the RTA’s quick guides for tenants and property manager/owners on increasing a bond using RTA Web Services.
Changes affecting a rental bond during a tenancy
Once the bond is lodged at the RTA, it is important that the bond information is kept up to date, particularly if there are any changes. The accuracy of information held by the RTA could be affected by a change of bond contributors, such as a change between co-tenants or flatmates, or a change in the managing agent or owners. It is critical that the RTA is informed when the change occurs, as incorrect information could cause delays during the bond refund stage.
Remember: you should discuss any change of tenants at the property with the property manager/owner before a Change of bond contributors request is submitted to the RTA online via RTA Web Services or by posting a completed paper Change of bond contributors form (Form 6).
How to make bond refunds quicker and easier
The quickest and fastest way for a bond refund to occur is for an agreed refund to be submitted to the RTA. Tenants and property managers/owners are encouraged to talk with each other first about how the refund is going to be paid out, and update their personal and bank account details on file at the RTA via the Update Your Details Web Service ahead of the vacate date.
Once the handover or vacate date has occurred, the bond refund request can be submitted to the RTA by either the tenant or the property manager/owner by using RTA Web Services or a paper Refund of rental bond (Form 4).
This webinar also explains the Web Services Fast track process, which provides 48 hours for parties on the bond to agree to a bond refund and have it refunded quickly. We further discuss the Notice of claim process as outlined in the legislation where there is a non-agreed refund submitted to the RTA, and the options available including disputing the claim.
What is eServices?
eServices is the RTA’s secure online bond management facility for property managers and owners who manage multiple tenancies. Using eServices, property managers can request a 100% tenant bond refund, search for a bond and display and print their full list of bonds.
Important reminder for tenants and managing parties
When submitting any bond forms to the RTA, please carefully check the spelling of names, bank account details provided and the amounts listed, this includes checking the postal address written on your envelope and checking that you have accurately added up the bond contribution portions. The RTA needs to receive clear and accurate information on all submitted forms to understand our customers’ intentions for their bonds.