Your guide to rental bond refunds
Tips for a smooth bond refund process
The Refund of rental bond form should be completed and sent to the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) when the tenancy has ended.
Disagreement over how a bond will be paid out is the most common form of dispute the RTA receives, accounting for more than half of all disputes. Listed below is important information and vital tips to help make the process straightforward for everyone involved.
Communicate early and often
The quickest and easiest way to make the bond refund process run smoothly for everyone is for the tenant and property manager/owner to reach agreement about how the bond will be paid out. Property managers/owners and tenants should communicate early and often reach consensus.
Early discussions may be around cleaning of the property, whether any repairs are required, and other paperwork and processes required by the property manager/owner. This can help reduce the risk of surprises or disputes when the time comes to refund the bond.
Share information, photos and invoices to facilitate agreement
Refer to the entry condition report and any other relevant documentation such as invoices to support your conversations.
Ensure up-to-date contact and banking details are provided
The bond refund form should include current contact and banking details for all parties. It’s important to note that refunds are paid into Australian bank accounts only. By providing the RTA with an email address on the bond refund form, you will receive updates on the progress of the bond refund. On average, the bond will be refunded within 5 days of the RTA receiving an agreed form.
Disputed or non-agreed refunds
These can occur when there is no agreement on how the bond should be paid, or when the bond refund application is not signed by all parties to the bond. A Refund of a rental bond only requires the signature of one person named on the bond record to begin the bond refund process, however, the RTA recommends all parties communicate and try to reach an agreement before making a claim on the bond.
In this situation, the RTA:
- releases any undisputed amounts
- holds any disputed amount/s
- sends a Notice of claim to the person/people who did not sign the refund form, and they have 14 days to dispute the bond claim
- may assist with dispute resolution if a dispute resolution request is received within 14 days.
Either party can make a claim on the rental bond if an agreement is not reached.
If making a partial claim, it is best practice to release the undisputed amount to the party who is owed the money.
In addition, any claim on the bond should be substantiated with details of the claim (e.g. the reasons for making the claim) and the amount.
It is an offence under Queensland tenancy law to knowingly give false or misleading information to the RTA.
Watch the RTA’s instructional video for more tips about making the rental bond refund process quick and easy.
More information about the bond refund process can be found on the RTA’s website.