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While rental bonds are not compulsory, it is highly recommended that a bond be taken to cover future damage or any rent that may be unpaid by a tenant.

As a property owner you must have the tenant fill out and sign a rental bond lodgement form, hich is then lodged with the Department of Fair Trading. You can make a claim against this bond at the end of the tenancy if there is a dispute concerning the condition of the property and/or owed rent.

The bond is to be no greater than four weeks’ rent and it cannot be in any form other than money.

A rental bond can only be accepted when the tenant signs the residential tenancy agreement. If there is more than one tenant in the same dwelling, you can only take one bond for the tenancy and not take a separate bond from each of the people in the house.

As a tenant, if you have looked after the property well during your tenancy, you should get all or most of the bond back. However, you should make sure you finalise your bond on the day you finalise your tenancy as there is a limited period to claim and if you have not left a forwarding address, chances are you won’t see the money!

Many landlords require the tenant to pay the first two weeks’ rent before the tenant moves in. This is often confused with a rental bond but is simply the tenant paying their rent in advance and is purely up to the landlord.