Money paid by the tenant at the start of a tenancy agreement is called a rental bond. All bonds must be lodged with Fair Trading.
Amount of rental bond
A rental bond cannot be more than four weeks' rent. This is paid at the start of the tenancy and applies to all NSW rental properties, whether furnished or unfurnished.
Important things to know:
- Higher bonds cannot be charged for tenants with pets, children or for any other reason.
- You cannot request or receive additional bond payments ('top-ups') during the tenancy.
- The only exception for bonds is under tenancy guarantees issued by Housing NSW. These guarantees help people with a limited or poor rental history to rent a place in the private rental market.
- The bond does not need to be paid before signing the tenancy agreement. This does not prevent a landlord or real estate agent from requiring the tenant to provide evidence that the rental bond has been deposited with Fair Trading before the tenancy agreement is signed.
- If the tenant is using Rental Bonds Online, they must lodge the bond with Fair Trading prior to the agreement being finalised.
- A bond covers the whole tenancy of the premise, not each individual tenant.
- If you as the landlord agrees, the bond can be paid in instalments.
Rent in advance
At the beginning of the tenancy, the tenant can be required to pay the first two weeks' rent. This is not another form of bond. The tenant is simply paying their rent in advance.
Besides a rental bond and two weeks' advance rent, the landlord cannot ask for any other money at the start of a tenancy.
If you have employed an agent to manage your property, they should arrange the bond lodgement process on your behalf, either through Rental Bonds Online or the paper-based process.
Rental Bonds Online information for:
- property agents
- self-managing landlords