Bond before move in?

Question from Marg updated on 1st January 1970:

Can landlords ask a tenant to pay the bond money or a portion of the bond money before the moving in date? I want to avoid the problem of trusting prospective tenants to have the bond money on the day they move in but then on the day they haven't got it.

Our expert Juliet Robinson responded:

Yes, you can require that the bond be paid before the tenancy starts. The purpose of a tenancy bond is as security against unpaid rent, cleaning or repairs for which a tenant may be responsible. If you have not received the bond, you do not have the security that the bond is intended to give. Some landlords will accept a bond transfer from a tenant’s prior property, but it is not compulsory to accept a transfer. Firstly, there is normally a gap between a tenancy’s final day and the bond being released for transfer; secondly, the amount available for transfer may be subject to a dispute with the previous landlord. In these instances the expected security falls short for the new landlord. The obvious way around this is for the new landlord to require the bond in full and to ask the tenant to treat their previous bond as a refund rather than a transfer.

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