Making a Rental Bond Claim Factsheet
Last published 01 Nov 2018
This factsheet explains the bond claim process at the end of your tenancy. If there are no tenancy charges at the end of your DCJ Housing tenancy (which includes public housing and Aboriginal Housing Office tenancies), your bond will be refunded to you in full.
Can I claim my rental bond at any time while living in my DCJ Housing property?
No. You can claim back your bond only at the end of your tenancy when you have vacated your property and returned your keys to DCJ Housing.
Will I get my rental bond money back?
Yes. You can claim back your bond at the end of your tenancy if you do not breach your residential tenancy agreement.
If you have not looked after the property or you have accounts (e.g. rent, water, or other charges owed to DCJ) that you have not yet paid, we can make a claim against your rental bond to recover these debts. We will try to contact you to discuss the charges before making or disputing a claim.
What are some of the reasons I would not receive some or all of my bond money back?
You may not receive some or your entire bond back if:
- you have not paid all your tenancy accounts (e.g. rent, water, or other charges)
- there is damage to the property or you didn’t leave the property in a reasonably clean condition, compared to the original property condition report, apart from fair wear and tear
- you didn’t return your property keys to the DCJ Housing Office after vacating as we will need to change the locks and cut new keys.
There may be other reasons for us to make a claim against your bond, for instance, to cover the cost of disposing of goods you have left behind. However, we try to discuss this with you before making any claim. We also need to provide evidence to substantiate any claim, and NCAT makea a decision if there is a dispute.
What is fair wear and tear?
Tenants are not responsible for fair wear and tear to their properties. Fair wear and tear means the deterioration that occurs over time with the use of the property, despite the tenant exercising reasonable care and maintenance.
Deterioration can be caused by exposure to the weather, time or just ordinary use. You will only be liable for negligent, irresponsible or intentional actions that damage your property.
Examples of fair wear and tear you are not liable for
Examples of damage you are liable for
Furniture indentations or footmarks on carpet
Stains or burn marks on the carpet
Faded, chipped or cracked paint
Unapproved paint work
Worn kitchen top
Burns or cuts in the bench top
Loose hinges or handles on doors or windows, and worn sliding tracks
Broken window glass
Cracks in the walls from movement
Holes in walls caused by things like removing picture hooks or shelves
The total cost of the damage must exceed $500 in a single instance for you to be liable for a bond.
How do I claim my bond back?
The easiest way to claim back your bond is to contact your local DCJ Housing office. We discuss and finalise your tenancy accounts with you and arrange a time for a final inspection. It is important you notify us when you are moving out to discuss any outstanding tenancy charges and the bond refund process.
During the final inspection, you look over the property with your Client Service Officer to assess and take notes about the condition of the property.
If you agree with the Client Service Officer on the condition of the property and bond amount you can claim back, we complete the Rental Bond Claim form for you. You need to sign this form. We lodge the claim with NSW Fair Trading and the agreed amount of the bond is returned to you.
You can lodge the form to claim your bond with NSW Fair Trading's Rental Bond Board without agreement from us but it is best if you can get DCJ to agree with your claim and sign the form as well. That way, the bond can be paid without delay.
You can obtain the form online at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.
Can I get help to claim back my bond?
Yes. We can submit the Rental Bond Claim form for you, or help to link you to an advocacy service if there is one in your area.
What happens if I lodge a bond claim that DCJ doesn’t agree with?
If you lodge a bond claim that we do not agree with, we try to contact you to reach an agreement.
If we still disagree with your claim, we have 14 calendar days to dispute it. We apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for a hearing that both you and DCJ need to attend to show evidence. The bond remains with NSW Fair Trading until NCAT settles the dispute. NSW Fair Trading only pay a bond out where there is agreement between DCJ and a tenant or by instruction of NCAT.
What happens if DCJ lodges a bond claim that I don’t agree with?
If you do not agree with a bond claim that we have made, you can contact us to talk about it. We encourage you to contact your Client Service Officer and try to reach an agreement about the bond refund.
If you still don’t agree with the claim, you have 14 calendar days to dispute it. Fair Trading will send you a notice advising of the claim. The notice will be posted to your last known address. If you cannot reach an agreement with DCJ you need to apply to the NCAT within 14 calendar days from the date of the notice. Both you and DCJ need to attend the NCAT hearing to show evidence.
Make sure you follow the instructions on the Notice of Claim and notify Fair Trading that you have applied to the Tribunal, so that the bond can be held until after the hearing. The bond remains with NSW Fair Trading until NCAT settles the dispute.
Can I still claim my bond if I have not paid all my tenancy accounts?
Yes. You can lodge a claim with NSW Fair Trading even if you have not paid all your accounts. However, we will contact you to discuss your accounts and how they impact the claim.
If we cannot reach an agreement, we may dispute the claim at NCAT.
Now that I have claimed back my bond, how will I receive my refund?
NSW Fair Trading only pay a bond out where there is agreement between DCJ and a tenant or by instruction from the NCAT. NSW Fair Trading pay refunds by direct deposit into the bank account you nominated. This means it is important your bank account details are up to date before you submit a claim for refund. If you need to clarify or update your payment details after submitting the claim, you can call NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 (8.30am to 5pm, Mon to Fri).
Who can I contact to find out more information?
To find out more information, contact your local DCJ Housing office.
Visit our website to find out where your local DCJ Housing office is located and the office contact telephone numbers: www.facs.nsw.gov.au.
You can also call NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or visit the website: www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au