Help to get into private rental
To find out if you are eligible, see Bond loan scheme.
Do not pay a bond until your loan is approved. We cannot refund the bond amount once it’s been paid to the landlord or agent (except in special cases).
When should I apply?
Apply after your landlord or estate agent has approved your application to rent a particular property. You cannot apply before.
How do I apply?
Apply at your local Department of Health and Human Services office.
You can apply by yourself, as a couple or as part of a shared household. Only one bond loan application form is needed for a property. Each member of your household applying for the bond loan must agree to repay the loan and take part in any legal proceedings about returning the bond money.
- Fill in an application for a bond loan (.docx)
- Take your Bond loan application to your landlord or agent
- They must fill in the section in the application about the property you will rent
- If your landlord does not use a real estate agent, they must also confirm they own the property or give us permission to check this with the local council
- If more than three household members are applying, fill in an Additional bond loan applicants form (.docx) as well
- Put together the documents we have asked for on the form
- Send or give the forms to your local office.
What do I include in my application?
Income and assets
Each applicant’s income and assets must be within the income and assets limits to be eligible for a bond loan.
If you or an applicant receive any income from Centrelink, you can give us permission to check your information using Centrelink Confirmation eServices. The permission form for this is in the bond loan form.
If you use this service, you will only need to give us documents about any property assets that you own or part-own.
If you don’t use the Centrelink service, we need one of these documents as proof of each applicant’s income:
- A letter (that is less than two weeks old) from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
- A wage statement from your employer
- A 13-week profit and loss statement (if you are self-employed).
You must also give us documents about assets that each applicant owns.
Proof of identity and residency
You must give us documents that prove each applicant’s identity.
This can be either:
- One form of photo identification that has a signature (like a passport or driver’s licence), or
- Two other identity documents (like a Medicare card, health care card or birth certificate).
You must also give us proof of residency status for each household member not born in Australia.
- A Certificate of Australian citizenship
- Passport, or
- A letter from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
What happens next?
If your bond loan is approved
We will tell you when your loan is approved. You can collect the cheque payable to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority or we can send it directly to your landlord or agent.
The cheque will have a bond lodgement form attached to it. The landlord or agent will use this to lodge the bond with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority.
If your bond loan is declined
If you are unhappy about our decision, you have the right to appeal. See Appeal a social housing decision for more information.
How do I repay the loan?
At the end of your tenancy, your landlord or agent will apply to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority for the bond money to be repaid to us. If the bond is returned in full, you won’t have anything else to pay.
If your landlord keeps some of the bond, you will need to repay your remaining share of the loan.
Contact your local office (the office you received the bond loan from). They can confirm the amount you owe and give you a bond loan voucher that you will need to repay the loan.
Disputes over unpaid rent or damage
Any disputes between you and your landlord over unpaid rent or damages may be settled by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
VCAT is an independent tribunal (like a court). It decides disputes between landlords and tenants. VCAT’s website has more information on residential tenancies disputes.
What if I need help?
If you need more information or have questions we haven’t answered here:
- Give us a call on 1300 650 172 (local call in Victoria) or (61 3) 9096 0000
- Visit your local office.