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Too Much Bond Money can be Too Much

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It has come to our attention that numerous real estate agents, when listing properties available for rent provide prospective tenants with certain information on their websites, the bond payable for the lease being one of them. Many properties listed on these websites require the prospective tenant to pay bond money that exceeds one month’s rent.

The payment of bond money is regulated by the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic) (“Act”).

Under Section 31 of the Act, landlords and agents are not entitled to demand or accept in relation to a tenancy agreement, a bond that is greater than one month’s rent payable under the tenancy agreement.

There are three exceptions to this requirement. The above provision does not apply to premises:

  1. Where the landlord’s principal place of residence immediately before the tenancy agreement was entered into, and the tenancy agreement states that fact
  2. Where the landlord intends to resume occupancy of the premises on the termination of the tenancy agreement
  3. Where the rent payable for 1 week exceeds $350.

Failure to adhere to the above can expose the landlord and agents to a fine of $567.10