You can try to come to an agreement by contacting the agent or landlord about the claim.
Take note of response cut-off time periods. Both the tenant and landlord have a certain amount of time to lodge or dispute a complaint. If these timelines are missed, the bond may be paid out based on a lodged bond or security deposit form or complaint.
Alternative options by State or Territory Requirements
The tenant’s other option is to apply to the Tribunal within the 14 days, otherwise the landlord will be paid the bond according to their claim. At the tribunal hearing the tenant should raise the following issues (if they apply):
If the landlord or agent failed to send copies of the final inspection report. They must do this within 7 days of lodging the claim. This should include: estimates, quotes, invoices or receipts relating to the claim.
If the landlord did not provide the tenant a reasonable opportunity to be at the property during the final inspection.
If the tenant disagrees with what was written in the final condition report. Try and show all evidence to support this position.
The RTA provides a free dispute resolution service. The authority will notify the person or contributors who paid the bond of an application by the landlord to have bond paid out to the landlord.
The tenant or bond contributor must make a ‘dispute resolution request’ within 14 days of notice being given.
Once the tenant has left the rental property, if the tenant and landlord are unable to agree about how the bond should be paid out, either person may apply to the Tribunal for a determination directing the Authority to pay out a part or whole of the bond. The landlord’s application must be made within 10 business days after the tenant vacates the property (or the landlord becomes aware that the tenant has abandoned the property).
The person (either landlord or tenant) disputing the application for bond to be paid out has 2 weeks after being given the notice to notify the Territory that they are going to dispute the claim. If notice is not given within this period of time, the payment will be paid out according to the application. The dispute is then referred to the ACAT as a tenancy dispute.
If an application is liable to be disputed, the Commissioner must give the other person written notice of the dispute application. That person then has 10 days to respond with a written communication to the Commissioner or the Commissioner may pay out the bond as proposed in the application.
There are exceptions, please see the legislation.
After receiving notification from the Commissioner a person must notify the Commissioner in writing if they wish to dispute it.
If there is a dispute, either a tenant or landlord can apply to the Magistrates Court using the Magistrate’s Court form, ‘Application for disposal of bond money’, for a decision on how the funds should be allocated. The other person will then be notified and can either: settle, dispute the application by lodging a ‘Notice of intention to dispute application for disposal of bond money’ within seven days or if no action is taken, the court may order for the release of the bond (after seven days).
The owner may lodge a claim form with the Authority after:
The owner has given the tenant a claim form outlining the amount of bond they want to have paid out to them as owner
If the tenant has not lodged that form with the Authority 10 days after they received the form (unless a longer period was prescribed).
The deposit contributor has not lodged a claim form with the Authority.
If part of the security deposit is to be paid out to the owner, the Authority will first take this out of the tenant’s portion and only if there is insufficient money in the tenant’s portion is it to be taken out of the deposit contributor’s portion.
If there is leftover money from the security deposit after the owner has been paid out, this will be distributed accordingly to the tenant and deposit contributor.
If the owner has been unable to give the claim form to any tenant after taking all reasonable steps to do so, and the deposit contributor has not lodged a claim form with the Authority, the Authority will refer the matter to the Commissioner.
After the tenant receives notice that the landlord is intending to retain some or all of the bond, or if the tenant has not received notice within 7 business days after the tenant gave up (or abandoned) the premises, the tenant may apply to the Tribunal for the return of some or all of the money paid as a security deposit. Even without notice being given within the required time, the tribunal can allow the landlord to retain some of the security deposit in certain circumstances.
Snug has taken every effort to ensure this content is accurate and up to date.
These legal guides provide a brief summary and introduction of the laws and regulations affecting renting. They do not cover all cases and might not apply to your specific rental property situation. It is important that you use this information as a guide only and seek independent Legal Advice or consult the Relevant Legislation. Snug does not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.