How can I get my bond back?

Question from Tracey Poulter updated on 3rd February 2009:

I have just discovered that the main tenant I was flatting with has rented my room to me in breach of her tenancy contract. Under the terms of her agreement, she may rent a room to no more than two other flatmates, and I am the third. Her property managers informed me today that my bond should have been lodged with them, but they have no knowledge of me, and I am there illegally. Are they liable for the return of my bond if she (the tenant) refuses to release it?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

The Residential Tenancies Act only applies to the relationship between a tenant and landlord. It does not cover the relationship between a tenant and a flatmate. I recommend that you seek independent legal advice from your local community law centre about what you can do to recover your bond from the tenant. You might also like to check out for information about flatting agreements.

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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