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If you are leasing residential property in Victoria, this is the statutory Residential Tenancy Agreement which is required to be completed.
This Residential Tenancy Agreement contains an option as to payment of a rental bond. A rental bond is a form of security for the landlord in case the tenant does not follow the terms of the agreement. Payment of a rental bond is not mandatory however it is usual when property is leased as a commercial arrangement.
In Victoria, the bond amount is usually one month's rent. An agent/landlord cannot ask for any amount higher than this unless the weekly rent is more than $350 or the Residential Tenancy Agreement states that the tenant is renting the landlord's principal place of residence and the landlord intends to resume occupancy at the end of the tenancy. The amount of bond that is to be paid must be written into the Residential Tenancy Agreement. Money received as a deposit bond must be deposited with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (Vic) within 10 days of receipt. A rental bond must be in the form of money and may not be provided as a guarantee.
The bond cannot be increased during the tenancy unless an Order is made by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
Before signing the Residential Tenancy Agreement, the agent or landlord must give the tenant an unsigned copy of the agreement to look over first. When both parties have signed, the tenant should be given a signed copy of the Residential Tenancy Agreement within 14 days.
The tenant must also be given a copy of the guide Renting a home: A guide for tenants and landlords. This guide must be given to the resident on or before the day they move in, otherwise the landlord/agent faces a fine of up to $500. The guide is available in English, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Vietnamese, Russian, Serbian and Chinese - contact Consumer Affairs Victoria.
For more information about rental bonds including lodgement and claiming the bond back at the end of the lease, see Consumer Affairs Victoria website at www.consumer.vic.gov.au
In Victoria a Residential Tenancy Agreement only needs to be registered under the Transfer of Land Act 1958 (Vic) if the lease is for more than 3 years, and registration is optional.
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