Security deposits/bonds

Landlords usually require tenants to pay a security deposit, also known as bond, before taking control of the property. 

This is to protect the landlord if you fail to meet your responsibilities as a tenant. 

Your landlord can ask you to pay a security deposit up to the maximum of four weeks rent.

Security deposit receipts

Your landlord must immediately issue you with a receipt if you pay security deposit by:

  • cash
  • cheque
  • credit card.

If you pay your security deposit by electronic bank transfer allow time for bank processing. You do not have to be issued a receipt. 

What the receipt must show

The security deposit receipt must be signed by your landlord or the person who received the deposit. It must contain all of the following details:

  • date received
  • name of tenant/tenants who paid the deposit
  • amount paid by tenant or each tenant
  • rental property address. 

Two or more tenants

Where there are two or more tenants, the tenancy agreement must specify the amount of deposit paid by each. Otherwise, it is assumed that each tenant paid equal amounts. 

Holding deposits in trust

If you have paid your security deposit to a real estate agent, it will be placed in a tenancy trust account.

Your private landlord must hold your security deposit in trust.

You can write to your landlord to ask for the name of the account that holds your security deposit.

If your private landlord leaves the Northern Territory (NT) for more than 14 days the security deposit is to be paid to either:

  • a real estate agent
  • or a person approved by the Commissioner of Tenancies. 

Your landlord must tell you when this happens.

Last updated: 27 June 2017