Bond refunds

At the end of the lease, the bond should be returned to the tenant if there are no claims for cleaning, outstanding rent or other costs. If a bond guarantee was provided by Housing SA, it will be returned to Housing SA if there are no claims against it. The tenant/resident will have to pay Housing SA any amount of bond that is claimed by a landlord or proprietor.

If you're registered for Residential Bonds Online (RBO), tenants/residents should check that their email address is entered in the RBO system. An email address can be provided to Consumer and Business Services (CBS) by completing this online form.

If you're not registered for Residential Bonds Online, the bond can be claimed by completing and signing a bond refund form (264.2 KB PDF).

If submitting a refund form at the CBS Customer Service Centre or by post, make sure it is signed by both the tenant/resident and the landlord/proprietor. A tenant/resident should not sign a bond refund form unless they agree to the amount claimed by the landlord/proprietor.

Only one tenant on the lease needs to sign the bond refund. If only one tenant is claiming the refund and other tenants are listed on the bond, attach a completed declaration form (99.8 KB PDF) to the refund form.

How bonds are refunded

Bonds are refunded in one of two ways:

  • directly by EFT into a bank account
  • by cheque.

Individual EFT payment request (53.3 KB PDF) - tenants/residents and landlords/proprietors can use this form to provide bank account details to CBS.

Agents can authorise staff to sign on their behalf by completing an agent's authority form (30.5 KB PDF). A new agent's authority form needs to be completed each time there are changes to authorised staff.

Following up a bond refund

To follow up the status of a bond email

If the tenant or resident is overseas

If tenants/residents move to another country at the end of their tenancy, they should keep their Australian bank account open so their bond can be paid into that account. If they need their bond refund paid into an overseas bank account, they will need to lodge an International Money Transfer form (126.2 KB PDF) with CBS. The overseas bank may charge them a fee to do this.

Claims on the bond

Landlords/proprietors can make a claim for:

  • unpaid rent
  • repair costs for damage caused by the tenant or resident
  • cleaning costs
  • cost of re-letting and re-advertising if the tenant or resident leaves before their fixed term tenancy ends.

Avoiding disputes

Tenants and residents should:

  • ensure rent is paid up to the end date
  • check the property against the condition report and any photos taken when they moved in
  • complete the condition report and take photos when they leave
  • provide the landlord and CBS with their new contact details for correspondence - this will ensure the bond is returned quickly.

Dispute a bond claim

A landlord/proprietor, a tenant/resident or Housing SA (if a Bond Guarantee has been provided) can dispute a bond claim. Parties are encouraged to talk to each other first to resolve the dispute.

If the dispute cannot be resolved, either party to the bond can make a claim for some or all of the bond. Registered users can claim, accept or dispute a bond through the Residential Bonds Online service.

Bond claims without the other party's consent

When CBS receives a bond claim without the other party's consent, the person who does not consent to the bond refund is notified of the claim. The notice provides information about the claim so they have a chance to dispute it and includes the date that CBS need to receive a response.

If the tenant/resident does not respond, the landlord or proprietor must provide CBS with evidence of their claim (151.0 KB PDF). If the evidence is not sufficient, the claim can be refused and the landlord/proprietor’s claim will be referred to the South Australian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) for a decision.

Bond claims involving Housing SA

Housing SA can initiate the bond refund process or dispute bond claims for bond guarantees they provide.

Contact CBS Bonds

Online: Residential bond enquiries

Phone: 131 882

GPO Box 965
Adelaide SA 5001

Was this page useful?

Page last updated 5 August 2020

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
Last Updated:
Printed on:
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2020