Unclaimed bonds for tenants

Winter 2017

If any renters believe they’re owed bond money, they’re urged to contact the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) which is holding $15 million on their behalf.

The values of the refunds range from as little as 50 cents up to $10,000. Around 32% of the unclaimed money is $50 or less and 45% is $100 or less, with 54,106 people listed as potential claimants.

RTA CEO, Darren Barlow, said renters should come forward and make a claim by answering a few questions relating to their tenancy.

"If you think you may have an outstanding bond that is owed to you, you should contact the RTA immediately," Mr Barlow said.

"The RTA will then check your details to see if you have an unclaimed bond in your name," he said.

Mr Barlow said every year the RTA gets more than 264,000 new bond lodgements worth $385 million, and issues more than 240,000 refunds averaging at $1,480.

"We’d love to be able to give tenants their bond money back. One of the main problems is we have incorrect bank account details or we don’t have current contact information," he said.

"You should make sure all your details are registered with the RTA – phone numbers, addresses, and emails.

"That way we can keep track of you, and you keep track of your bond," he said.

"There are also many reasons why tenants may not have made a claim; some may have simply forgotten in the activity of moving house, moving interstate or overseas, or some may not have collected because the amount is so small, or didn’t realise they should apply to the RTA.

"When leaving a rental property, after the vacate inspection, tenants and the property managers/owners should discuss any issues with the bond refund and try to reach an agreement. This way, both parties know where they stand.

"The tenant should keep in touch with the manager/owner and the RTA to keep track of the bond’s progress," Mr Barlow said.

The most refunds owed by local council area are as follows:

  • Brisbane City Council
  • Gold Coast City Council
  • Cairns Regional Council
  • Townsville City Council
  • Sunshine Coast Regional Council

More information is available by contacting the RTA direct on 1300 366 311.

The RTA is the Queensland Government statutory authority that administers the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. They provide tenancy information, bond management, dispute resolution, investigation, and policy and education services.