At the start of the tenancy
All renters who have paid money towards the bond should make sure their name and the amount they paid is included in the bond lodgment form at the start of the tenancy.
During the tenancy – transfers
It is common in share houses that people will move in and out while the same tenancy continues.
If renters want to change who is on the lease this is referred to as a ‘transfer’, legally described in the law as an “assignment”.
Transfers can happen in several ways. For example, a renter can leave and be replaced by another renter, or the numbers of renters can increase or decrease.
To change who is on the lease you need either the rental provider’s written consent, or an order from VCAT.
For more information on transferring (assigning), see our page Lease transfers and subletting.
Assuming you have permission to change who is on the lease, you will also need to change the names listed on the bond held by the RTBA.
A, B and C rent a property together and each paid an equal share of the bond. A and B want to stay at the property, but C wants to move out and D wants to move in.
The bond paid by A, B and C at the start of the tenancy acts as a security over the property until the entire tenancy ends. As only C is moving out the tenancy is not ending so C’s bond will not be refunded by the RTBA.
For C to get their bond back they will need to arrange a bond transfer with D, with C being paid their share of the bond by D and D replacing C on the bond held by the RTBA.
To tell the RTBA about the change, and to make sure C is removed from the bond, and D listed on the bond, a tenant transfer form needs to be submitted to the RTBA within 5 days of the change.
If the rental provider or their agent are registered with the RTBA to deal with bond transactions online the Tenant Transfer form can be submitted electronically.
This example assumes there are no problems with the property and that C would receive a full refund of the bond they paid at the start of the tenancy if the tenancy were ending.
At the end of the tenancy
Co-renters can make a claim to the RTBA to have the bond refunded at the end of their tenancy.
However, if a renter makes a claim to the RTBA at the end of the tenancy, without including a co-renter, the RTBA will send a notice to anyone on the rental agreement who has not been included in the claim to tell them about the claim, including current and past co-renters if they are listed on the bond.
If a co-renter has paid part of the bond but not been included in the claim they could put in their own claim or could apply to VCAT for orders on how the bond should be paid out among all renters.
Applications to VCAT should be made within 14 days of the tenancy ending. In exceptional circumstances this time limit may be extended with VCAT’s permission. For more information on making a VCAT application see our page Guide to renters VCAT applications – bonds.
We cannot give advice in shared household disputes because many situations are not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act, and we cannot take sides between tenants.
One way of resolving disputes is by mediation through the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria. However, all tenants in the dispute must agree to mediation.