Forms & resources

Online Bond Refund

You can use the RTA’s Bond Refund Web Service to submit a request for a full bond refund or a partial refund following a rent reduction. When everyone agrees on how the bond will be paid out, you can fast track the refund. When parties disagree, you can quickly and easily submit a request for dispute resolution.

If you are lodging a bond refund online for the first time, please refer to our helpful resources below.

Tip: The fastest and easiest way to get a bond refund is for the tenant/s and the property owner/manager to agree about how the bond is to be paid out. This will allow you to benefit from our new Bond Refund Fast Track, where all parties can agree and respond online, and payment can be made quickly.

Before you begin, you will need:

Tenants

  • your QGov login details (or create a QGov account)
  • a bond number for a current tenancy
  • the handover or vacate date (if applying for a full bond refund)
  • the new weekly rent, if applying for a rent reduction refund
  • unique email addresses for all tenants
  • your bank account details.

Managing parties

  • your QGov login details (register for a QGov account now)
  • your organisation’s RTA ID number
  • a bond number for a current tenancy
  • the new weekly rent, if applying for a rent reduction refund
  • the handover or vacate date, if applying for a full bond refund details of any claims on the bond
  • reason and amounts of any claims on the bond
  • unique email addresses for all tenants.

Note: Refunds are only paid into Australian bank accounts.

Remember: Any person knowingly submitting false or misleading details on the refund form is committing an offence under Queensland law.

Who can submit a digital bond refund request?

Either a tenant or managing party who has verified their digital identity through QGov can start the bond refund request process after the property has been vacated.

We recommend all parties discuss the bond refund before submitting a request.

You can only submit a digital refund request if:

  • you are a party to the bond
  • you are lodging a full bond refund or a partial refund following a rent reduction (no part bonds)
  • there is not already a bond refund in progress.

Note: If you do not have Australian-issued identification and cannot verify your digital identity through QGov, you can use the RTA’s paper-based Refund of rental bond form or call our helpdesk for assistance on 1300 366 311.

What is the bond refund process?

The graphic below shows the process for bond refunds.

Bond refund diagaram

Fast track refunds

  • Speak with all parties on the bond to make them aware of the bond refund request.
  • Reach agreement with all parties on how the bond refund should be paid.
  • Ensure everyone listed on the bond responds to the Bond Refund Fast Track email.

Non-fast track refunds and Notice of claim

  • Occurs when one or more parties do not respond to the fast track request within the allocated 48 hour timeframe; or
  • One or more parties do not agree to fast track the bond refund.

When this occurs, the RTA sends a Notice of claim to all necessary parties. The Notice of claim provides all parties with a link where they will be able to view details of the Claim and either agree to progress the bond refund, or request dispute resolution.

Bond Disputes

  • Occur when one or more parties respond to the Notice of claim and disagree about how the bond should be paid.

If the RTA receives a dispute resolution request within the legislative timeframe, a hold will be placed on the bond. A dispute resolution team member will then contact all relevant parties to discuss the next steps in the process.

Helpful resources

For tenants

For managing parties

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How do I start a bond dispute?

If another party has lodged a bond refund online and you want to dispute it, you will need to respond to the Notice of claim stating you disagree with the proposed refund and request dispute resolution. A Notice of claim will be sent to all necessary parties once all parties have responded or the 48 hour fast track period expires. Please note that you must respond to the Notice of claim and lodge a dispute resolution request disagreeing with the bond refund amount, even if you already disagreed to fast track the refund. Failure to lodge a dispute resolution request within 14 days will result in the automatic payment of the proposed refund.

When submitting your dispute resolution request you will need to provide:

  • reasons for your claim (managing parties only)
  • your contact details
  • if you require a translator or interpreter.

Once you have submitted a dispute resolution request disagreeing with the bond refund, a hold will be placed on the bond. An RTA officer will contact all parties to discuss the next steps.


I've received a dispute resolution request. What do I need to do now?

The RTA recommends that you speak with the other parties and share information, such as invoices, photos, rent ledgers and any other relevant documentation to resolve any disagreements. A hold will be placed on the bond and an RTA officer will contact all parties to begin the dispute resolution process.

What is the Bond Refund Fast Track process?

More than two-thirds of the bond refund requests that the RTA receives, have been signed and agreed to by all parties.

The Bond Refund Fast Track is a simple, fast and convenient way to complete the bond refund process where there is agreement. This also allows for payment to be made quickly.

To fast track your refund, you will need to provide unique (not shared or duplicate) email addresses for all parties if the RTA does not already have a consented email on file for the other parties.


Who can start the bond refund process?

Any party can commence the bond refund process. Please ensure you have spoken with all parties listed on the bond before starting your bond refund request. The quickest and easiest way to get a bond refund is for the tenant and the property manager/owner to reach agreement about how the bond is to be paid out.


What is a fast track refund?

A fast track refund is when all parties involved in the bond agree and respond online to the fast track request email within 48 hours. This allows for payment to be made quickly.


Why is the fast track request emailed?

The Bond Refund Fast Track email request is a way for all parties to seek digital agreement and replaces the need for people to physically sign a document. This allows for a quick response and a faster refund process.


Why is the fast track period only 48 hours?

The 48 hour timeframe aligns with current processing times for paper forms at the RTA. All parties should respond to the fast track request before the fast track period expires.

Your deadline for responding to a fast track request will be listed in the email you will receive from the RTA once a bond refund request has been lodged. The deadline will always be 11pm on the second day after the request is submitted.


What happens if one party disagrees or doesn't respond to the fast track?

You should respond to the fast track email within the 48 hour timeframe. If a party disagrees or doesn’t respond to the fast track request, they will be sent a Notice of claim and given 14 days to respond.


What happens after the fast track period ends?

The fast track ends after 48 hours or once all parties have responded to the fast track request, which could be within minutes. The Notice of claim process starts as soon as 15 minutes after the last party listed on the bond has responded. Under Queensland tenancy law, all parties have 14 days to respond to the Notice of claim.


What is a Notice of claim (NOC)?

A Notice of claim is a formal notification that a claim has been made on a bond. A Notice of claim is sent via email (if consent to receive email notices has been provided to the RTA) or by post to all parties that disagree with, or don’t respond to, a Bond Refund Fast Track request. All relevant parties will then need to respond to the Notice of claim – either online via Web Services or by following the steps outlined on the PDF Notice of claim attached to the Notice of claim email. The timeframe to respond to a Notice of claim is 14 days.

If all parties agree during the Notice of claim period, the bond refund amount will be paid out.


Do I have to dispute a bond refund amount using the Notice of claim if I've already disputed it in the fast track period?

Yes, disagreeing to fast track the bond refund is not considered a request for dispute resolution. You must respond to the Notice of claim. If you don’t request dispute resolution during the Notice of claim period, the proposed refund will be automatically refunded when the Notice expires.


Can I cancel my fast track refund request after submitting it?

If you think you’ve made an error or need to withdraw your Bond Refund Fast Track request or response, please contact the RTA as soon as possible on 1300 366 311 to discuss your options. If the other parties have not yet responded, the RTA may be able to manually cancel your submission. The RTA recommends all parties discuss and agree to how the bond will be paid before lodging a bond refund request via Web Services.

Can I change my bond refund amount after submitting?

We recommend that all parties discuss the bond refund before submitting a request through the Bond Refund Web Service. This will ensure everyone is aware of the proposed refund, and reduces the likelihood that the refund will be disputed.

Unfortunately, you cannot change a bond refund amount once you have submitted it via Web Services. However, if the other parties have not yet responded, the RTA may be able to manually cancel your submission. If you have made a mistake or want to change your refund request submission, please call the RTA as soon as possible on 1300 366 311.


It says there is another bond refund in progress. Why can't I submit my claim as well?

RTA Web Services will not allow you to start a bond refund request if there is already a refund in progress on the same bond. Please speak with the other parties and check your email inbox for correspondence from the RTA.


What types of bond refunds can I lodge online?

You can use the RTA’s Bond Refund Web Service to submit a request for a full bond refund or a rent reduction.

A full bond refund refunds the entire bond amount because the tenancy has ended.

A rent reduction refunds part of the total existing bond amount held by the RTA because the weekly rent for the property is being reduced during the tenancy. As such, this reduces the total bond held by the RTA. Rent reduction refunds can only be paid to the tenants.


How does the RTA refund my bond to me?

Bond refunds can be paid into any Australian bank account.

What is dispute resolution?

Dispute resolution refers to the RTA’s free, confidential dispute resolution service which helps tenants and property manager/owners resolve disputes without the need for legal action. If agreement cannot be reached, the RTA will issue a Notice of unresolved dispute and the person who lodged the initial dispute resolution request can then choose to apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for a decision.

I have a bond loan can - I request a bond refund online?

Yes, the RTA will deduct the amount owing on the bond loan from the tenant’s refund and pay it directly to the Department of Housing and Public Works.

Can I use Web Services if I am applying for a refund on behalf of a deceased estate?

No, bond refunds involving deceased estates will need to be lodged via the RTA’s paper form. You will also need to provide evidence that you are permitted to act on behalf of the deceased estate.

Can I submit a bond refund request prior to moving out?

No, the handover or vacate date must be the day you submit a bond refund request or earlier. RTA Web Services will not allow you to lodge a bond refund request where the handover or vacate date is in the future.

Where can I find the handover or vacate date for my tenancy?

To complete a bond refund request, you will need to know the handover or vacate date for when your tenancy ends. You can find your handover or vacate date on a Notice of intention to leave (tenant provides to managing party), a Notice to leave or an Abandonment termination notice (both provided by a managing party to a tenant/s).

Note: Your handover or vacate date must be the day you submit a bond refund request or earlier. It cannot be a date in the future.

What if the bond contributors have changed?

The Bond Refund Web Service gives you the option to allocate payments to individuals that are not listed as a party to the rental bond. You will need to provide the full name and a unique email address for all third party recipients. Where a third party is added, the RTA will seek consent about the proposed refund from the parties who are listed on the bond.

Please note, you cannot change bond contributors online. You will need to complete a paper form.

You can update your contact details with the RTA here.


Who is a bond contributor?

A tenant who pays an amount towards the bond is a bond contributor. All bond contributors should be listed on the bond refund/bond.

The RTA will only be able to discuss the bond with parties listed against that bond.

What is a head tenant?

When a tenant named on an agreement gives another person the right to rent part, or all, of the property they are called a head tenant.

As a head tenant, they have the same responsibilities as a property manager/owner. That includes providing the sub-tenant with:

Who are joint lessors?

Joint lessors are two or more people who jointly own a property and rent it directly to the occupant. They may also be known as landlords.

Can I still use Web Services for a bond refund if one party doesn't have a QGov ID?

Yes, you can start the bond refund request process. However, as the other party is unable to access RTA Web Services without a QGov login, they will not be able to respond to the fast track and the process will automatically progress to the Notice of claim stage. At this stage, the RTA send all necessary parties a Notice of claim, allowing 14 days to respond. QGov users can respond via the link to Web Services. Non-QGov users who have a consented email address with the RTA will receive a PDF copy of the notice and can refer to the notice for details on how to respond and next steps. Non-QGov users who do not have a consented email address with the RTA will receive a Notice of claim via post and can follow the directions listed on the notice.

I'm a property manager/owner why do I need my RTA ID to access the Bond Refund Web Service?

Your RTA ID is your unique customer number for your organisation with the RTA, and helps to identify your organisation when doing business with the RTA.

I am a property manager with an eServices log-in - will I still be able to use eServices to request 100% tenant bond refunds?

Property managers will continue to be able to login to RTA eServices to lodge 100% tenant bond refunds.

I'm a property manager owner - will I still be able to upload scanned bond refund forms via the RTA website (eServices)?

RTA Web Services offers our customers the benefits of convenience, speed, security and accuracy. As such, the eServices PDF upload facility will no longer be required.

The eServices PDF upload facility for bond refund forms will remain available until 31 January 2020 while customers transition to the new Bond Refund Web Service. From 1 February 2020, the PDF upload facility will be decommissioned. The ability to view bonds and lodge 100% tenant bond refunds through eServices will remain.

I'm a property manager/owner - why do I have to specify a claim reason?

You must provide a reason for your claim in order to proceed with the online form. This is to help ensure claims are considered, itemised and viewable to all parties.

Any person knowingly submitting false or misleading details on this refund form is committing an offence under Queensland law.

The RTA recommends that you speak with the other parties and share information, such as invoices, photos, rent ledgers and any other relevant documentation to resolve any disagreements.

I'm a property manager/owner - how do I claim above the bond amount?

Through the RTA’s Bond Refund Web Service, you can only claim up to the total value of the bond held by the RTA. If you wish to claim above the bond amount (i.e. more than the value of the total bond held by the RTA), you will need to lodge a paper dispute resolution request form with the RTA to pursue the funds or compensation via QCAT.

Can I use Web Services to lodge a general tenancy dispute request (i.e. not a bond refund dispute)?

No, you can only lodge a request for a bond refund or a bond dispute via the RTA’s Web Services.

The RTA expects to launch a Web Service for general tenancy disputes in 2020. Until this time, please continue to use the RTA’s paper forms.

Who can I contact for support?

You can call the RTA Contact Centre (please select the Web Services hot button) on 1300 366 311 or +61 7 3046 5400 (international) between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, or email helpdesk@rta.qld.gov.au. You can learn more about bond refunds here.


I rejected the fast track request, but now I and the other parties have reached agreement on the refund. What do we do now?

If you come to an agreement on a new refund amount after rejecting the Bond Refund Fast Track, please download the RTA’s bond refund paper form from the RTA website, arrange for all parties to sign, and send to the RTA for processing.

If I don't have access to the QGov website, how will I be notified about my bond refund?

You will be sent an email notifying you that a bond refund request has been lodged. If you are unable to access the QGov site to respond to this, and you have a consented email address on file with the RTA, you will automatically be sent an email with an attached Notice of claim form after 48 hours. If you do not have a consented email address on file with the RTA, your Notice of claim will be sent via post. You can fill in this form and post it to the RTA and we will use this to process the bond refund.

Are there consequences for declining or not responding to the fast tracked option?

No, if you (or another party) does not respond during the fast track period, or does not agree to the fast track option, you will receive a Notice of claim and will have 14 days to respond.

How long will it take to begin the dispute resolution process?

On average there is a 2-3 week wait for dispute resolution, however this may fluctuate with increases in demand. While you await dispute resolution a hold will be placed on the bond.

If I don't have access to QGov, how will I be notified about a bond dispute?

The RTA will contact you (via email if the RTA has your email address on file, or by post) notifying you that the bond has been disputed. You do not need to do anything at this stage. A hold will be placed on the bond and an RTA officer will contact you to begin dispute resolution.

If one party lodges a bond refund dispute online, how will the other party be notified?

All parties will be notified (via email if the RTA has your email address on file, or by post). A hold will be placed on the bond refund until the dispute is resolved.

You will be sent an Acknowledgment of Dispute once a dispute case is created. An RTA officer will contact all parties to begin the dispute resolution process.

What do I do if my tenants are using a shared email address?

Tenants cannot use a shared email address for bond refunds for privacy and security reasons. Please contact them and ask them to provide alternative, individual email addresses.