Victorians to pay and claim rental bond in a couple of clicks

“We also have lots of cases of real estate agencies withholding bonds for unsubstantiated maintenance on the exit of a property, so hopefully it will improve this too.”

Horne said the $9 million upgrade to the website would be integrated with Service Victoria’s identity verification to “seamlessly process bond repayments and bond loans to tenants”.

Paying a bond will be far quicker, the Victorian Government says.

Paying a bond will be far quicker, the Victorian Government says.Credit:Peter Rae

“Verifying users online means they can change their bond details and claim their bonds without the need for paper forms and signatures,” Horne said.

Under rental law reforms introduced in March last year, tenants can apply directly to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority to have their bond released, without needing to wait for the rental provider or agent to lodge their bond claim, but this has to be done formally using forms and paperwork.

While tenants can claim online, landlords or co-tenants will still have a chance to dispute it. They will be notified when a claim is made and have up to 14 days to lodge their own claim.

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Horne said almost 15,000 bond claims had been initiated by tenants since new rental laws were introduced, with more than half paid directly to the tenant.

“We know that dealing with rental bonds can be challenging and inconvenient – we’re fixing that to make the process better for everyone involved,” Horne said.

While the government hopes the process will be easier, real estate agencies will still be pushing to prefer to manage the bond process themselves, with tenants needing to negotiate the best way to pay the bond with their property manager.

Real Estate Institute of Victoria vice president Leah Calnan said the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority “has been on the horizon for some time and will probably be most beneficial for owners who are self-managing their rental property”.

“As most of the process for lodging and claiming bonds is already online, and property managers need to maintain an oversight of the bond lodgment process to protect their owner’s interests, it is likely that they will prefer to use the current RTBA online processes,” she said.

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