Bond refunds

If you've ever rented a house, unit or apartment, Consumer and Business Services may be holding an unclaimed residential bond in your name, which can be refunded to you -  Check if your bond is unclaimed

Read more about unclaimed bonds on the CBS website

The bond should be returned to the tenant or resident at the end of the lease if there are no claims by the landlord or proprietor for cleaning, outstanding rent or other costs. Bond guarantees will be returned to Housing SA – the tenant or resident will need to pay back Housing SA for any bond claimed.

Both the tenant and landlord must be registered with Residential Bonds Online (RBO) to refund a bond electronically.

Once the landlord and tenant agree to refund the bond and on any claims made, a request can be lodged.

Other ways to request a refund

How bonds are refunded

There are two ways a bond can be refunded:

  • directly into a bank account
  • by cheque.

Providing your bank details

You can enter your bank account details in RBO during the refund process.

If completing a bond refund form (244.7 KB PDF) enter your details on the form.

Tenant has moved overseas

Tenants should keep their Australian bank account open so their refund can be paid quickly and easily.

Fill in an International Money Transfer form (218.9 KB PDF) if the refund needs to be paid into an overseas bank account.

Unclaimed bond money

Funds are held by CBS if the person:

  • is not active on RBO at time of refund
  • did not provide bank details or forwarding address.

Check a bond status to see if CBS is holding money for you.

Claims on the bond

You can make a claim on RBO or by filling in a bond refund form.

Landlords/proprietors can claim for:

  • unpaid rent
  • unpaid water supply charges
  • repair costs for damage caused by the tenant or resident
  • cleaning costs
  • cost of re-letting if the tenant or resident leaves before the end of the lease.
Housing SA can initiate a refund or dispute a claim for bond guarantees they provide.

Avoiding disputes

Tenants/residents should:

  • make sure rent is paid up to the end date on the lease
  • pay any outstanding water supply charges
  • check the property using the inspection sheet and any photos they took when they moved in
  • complete the inspection sheet and take photos when they leave
  • provide the landlord and CBS with their new contact details - this can speed up the refund process.

Bond claims without consent

When a refund form is received (claiming a bond amount), the person who hasn't given consent on the form is notified of a claim. This gives people a chance to dispute it. The notice includes information about the claim and the final date that CBS needs a response.

If the tenant/resident does not respond, the landlord/proprietor must provide evidence of their claim (200.5 KB PDF). Claims can be refused if the evidence is insufficient – an application will then need to be made the South Australian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (SACAT).

Dispute a bond claim

A landlord, proprietor, tenant or Housing SA can dispute a bond claim. We encourage you to talk to each other first. But if the dispute can't be resolved, any person connected to the bond can make a claim or dispute another person's claim.

Registered RBO users can dispute a bond electronically.

Contact CBS Bonds

Online: Residential bond enquiries

Phone: 131 882

GPO Box 965
Adelaide SA 5001

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Page last updated 17 November 2022

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Attorney-General's Department
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