Improved bond process

The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 was passed by Queensland Parliament on 23 May 2024.

Current rental laws apply until the changes come into effect. We will update this page once the Bill gains Assent. Read more about changes to Queensland’s rental laws.

Evidence for bond claims

A bond paid by a renter gives the property owner financial protection in case the renter breaches the terms of the tenancy agreement, such as by damaging the property or not paying rent. Under current rental laws, rental property owners don’t have to provide evidence when making a claim against the bond.

The Bill proposes to require rental property owners to give renters evidence when making a claim against the rental bond. Evidence may include receipts, quotes to repair damage or records of unpaid rent.

The rental property owner must give the evidence to the renter within 14 days after making a rental bond claim or a dispute resolution request, unless the rental property owner has been unable to contact the renter after making reasonable efforts. A breach of this requirement will be an offence.

These changes will make the rental bond refund process fairer and more transparent.

Bond refunds involving commercial bond products

Under current rental laws, if a renter takes out a loan from a commercial or third-party provider to pay their bond, the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) can only issue bond refunds directly to the bond loan provider.

The Bill proposes to enable the RTA to refund the bond directly to renters, except if the bond loan is from the Department of Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works.

This change will ensure that renters:

  • receive their share of a rental bond refund
  • remain responsible for their repayment obligations to the commercial bond supplier.

Capped bond amounts

Under current rental laws, rental property owners can charge a bond of more than 4 weeks rent if the weekly rent is over a certain threshold (i.e. more than $700 for residential tenancy agreements and $500 for rooming accommodation agreements).

The Bill proposes to remove this rent threshold, so the maximum bond that can be charged in all cases is equivalent to 4 weeks rent.

This change will:

  • give prospective renters certainty about how much bond is required for a rental property
  • improve the affordability of bonds by limiting excessive amounts.

If the bond isn’t enough to cover costs at the end of a tenancy, rental property owners can still use existing options to recover funds via the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), which remain unchanged.

Bond release if case dismissed without a QCAT order

Under current rental laws, the RTA can’t release bond refunds if a party has applied to QCAT for an order to direct the RTA to refund the bond, but QCAT has dismissed the application without making an order.

The Bill proposes to allow the RTA to refund a bond in accordance with the original bond claim if QCAT dismisses the application without making an order.

This change will ensure that rental property owners and renters can access bond refunds.

Bonds for rooming accommodation

Under current rental laws, the RTA has no authority to receive, hold or pay rental bonds for rooming accommodation where both:

  • the owner lives on the premises
  • 3 or fewer rooms are available to be rented out.

The Bill proposes to apply existing rental bond provisions in these circumstances, including to require a rental bond to be lodged with the RTA.

This change will strengthen protections for rooming accommodation residents by allowing the RTA to investigate and enforce breaches of the Act about rental bonds.

Portable bond scheme

Pressure in the rental market means many people are having to move around more often to find a home they can afford. Under current rental laws, renters have to pay the bond on their new rental property up front before the bond held for their current rental property is refunded.

The Bill proposes to allow a portable bond scheme to be established to enable a renter to transfer their bond when moving from one rental property to another.

While the scheme is being established, the government will introduce a Bridging Bond Loan product to help households afford the upfront cost of a new bond, pending release of their current bond.

Find out more