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Retail and Commercial Security Bonds FAQ

How do I access Retail and Commercial Security Bond forms?

Retail and Commercial Bond lodgement, refund, change of management and other forms can be downloaded from the Office of the Small Business Commissioner (OSBC) website at the Retail Bonds page. Printed forms are to be completed and signed by all parties. 

Completed forms are to be sent to -

Office of the Small Business Commissioner
GPO Box 1264

Amount of Bond

Under the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995, a security bond which does not exceed the equivalent of three months’ rent (exclusive of GST) can be obtained.

This security bond amount must be lodged with the Office of the Small Business Commissioner within seven days of receipt of moneys, or if the person receiving the security bond is a registered agent—within 28 days.

The maximum amount of the bond is to be calculated by reference to the rent payable during the first year of the lease (expressed as a monthly rent) but if a lease provides rent concessions, such as a rent-free period or a period of rent at concessional rates, the concession will be disregarded  

 Is GST payable on Retail and Commercial Bonds?

The rental threshold amount and the amount of a security bond are both exclusive of GST refer to Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995.   

How are bonds lodged?

To lodge a bond, you must download a Retail and Commercial Lodgement of Security Bond form from the OSBC website or available here: Retail & Commercial Lodgement of Security Bond Form.

Once the form is completed and signed by both parties, submit it to the OSBC for processing and lodgement of your security bond payment.  Payment can be made by Direct Debit, Cheque made out to the Retail Shop Leases Fund or by Money Order.    

My change of management form has been returned because a signature did not match. What do I do now?

The OSBC matches the signatures of Lessee/s and Agents / Lessors with the signatures registered with the OSBC via Bond Lodgement and / or Change of Management forms. If the signatures do not match, then the form is usually returned to the Agent / Lessor to be re-submitted.

The notice covering the return will set out the OSBC requirements, including:  

  • Submission of a new form with signatures signed in the same manner as the original signature held by the OSBC and / or;
  • A copy of a driver's licence provided as verification; and / or
  • Any other documentation that verifies ownership of premises or position of employment and authority within a business / agency.

How do I claim a Bond Refund?

When the tenancy / lease has ended, you can make a claim for a refund for all or part of the bond.

 A lessee or lessor/agent can make a claim against a bond by completing a bond refund form (found on our website) and sending or delivering the original signed copy to this office; or emailing a scanned copy of the form to

Please ensure the form is completed correctly and in full, as this will assist the office in locating the bond and supporting documentation.

When you lodge the completed claim form, you must include your electronic funds transfer (EFT) details.  

What do I do if my refund hasn't been paid out due to a signature not matching and/or I have changed my name?

If you have changed your name by marriage or by deed poll, submit a copy of the Marriage Certificate or Change of Name Certificate and driver's licence with the form when it is submitted to the OSBC. If signatures on the form cannot be verified, the OSBC will send out a Notice of Claim letter to either party to stipulate that signatures differ and require:

  • verification to be provided for bond to be refunded; e.g. driver's licence; or
  • submission of a new form with signatures signed in the same manner as the signature held by the OSBC; or
  • for Agents to download a new Agent's Authority Signatories form when new Property Managers have joined the team or existing agents have left.

What happens if one of the parties don't agree to the payout of a Retail and Commercial Security Bond?

If a Notice of Claim letter (dispute application) is returned to the OSBC within the nominated time frame (14 days) from either party disputing the payout of a Retail and Commercial Security Bond, the bond will be suspended. A dispute file will be created and referred a Magistrates Court to resolve the dispute. 

Dispute resolution process

The Case Management Team will contact both parties to advise that a dispute has been referred to the Magistrates Court to reach a mutual agreement about the payout of the security bond.

My co-lessee has gone overseas and cannot sign the refund form, what happens now?

 If one Lessee on the bond can be contacted, the OSBC will accept a signed Declaration Authority (which is located on the back of the Retail and Commercial Security Bond Refund form) authorising the release of the bond to the nominated Tenant. This authorisation must be signed on the form when it is submitted to the OSBC.  

I have made a valid claim for refund, but I have not received my bond back?

The OSBC will only hold the repayment where we are unable to make the repayment by EFT.  

For any enquiries regarding a bond refund, contact us directly via phone or e-mail.  

I have requested to be notified by e-mail of a bond lodgement or refund, but have not received it?

If you are unable to find an OSBC notification e-mail sent to you as part of a lodgement or refund, your e-mail provider might be treating the OSBC notification e-mail as junk and place these e-mails in your junk folder. If your junk folder contains an OSBC notification, you can open these e-mails in the junk folder and mark the sender as safe. This will ensure that you can receive future OSBC e-mails into your inbox.

For assistance with any of these matters, please call the Office of the Small Business Commissioner on Toll Free 1800 072 722 or 08 8303 2026 or visit Alternatively, you can e-mail

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