So, you have reached the end of your lease and it’s time to pack up and move on? Well, remember that downpayment of 4 weeks rent that you paid at the beginning of your tenancy? It is finally time to get that back (we all know you have been itching for it to land in your bank account). But how can you ensure you get your whole bond back?
In this blog, we will outline what the rules are for bonds, how you can ensure you get the most out of your bond return, and how to lodge your bond.
WHAT ARE THE RULES & REGULATIONS SURROUNDING BONDS?
Essentially the bond is paid by the tenant as a bit of a security blanket. To secure the property, you will pay a deposit + 4 weeks worth of rent that will go towards your bond. The funds sit there for the duration of your tenancy and will cover any unpaid rent or bills, cover repairs and damage made, and cleaning that the tenant may not have addressed before vacating. Only one Rental Bond can be charged for a residential tenancy agreement, regardless of the number of tenants or changes in tenants.
HOW CAN I GET THE MOST OUT OF MY RETURN?
- The most obvious would be to make sure you have paid all outstanding rent, invoices, and bills by the vacate date.
- Leave the place better than you found it. This shows you are proactive and you have put in the work to get your bond back.
- Get a bond cleaner. These guys are the real deal…they know what they are doing and no window sill or hard-to-reach space gets overlooked.
- Revisit the entry condition report. You may have to ask your property manager for a copy if you cannot find the version that was emailed to you at the start of your agreement. In hindsight, you filled this out to the best of your ability, listing each and every discrepancy you encountered when moving in.
- Get your carpets professionally cleaned.
- Don’t forget to clean window sills & tracks, the oven, aircon filters, and any easily forgotten places.
- Complete your exit report – and be honest! You need to fill this in, all tenants on the lease need to sign for it. Then supply it to your property manager. Your property manager will then do an inspection, take many photos, and then compare it against your entry condition report when you moved in. It is important to own up to any damages or accidents that may have occurred during your lease. This way you can come to an agreement on how to fix it, etc.
HOW DO I LODGE MY BOND RETURN?
At the end of the tenancy, the Rental Bond may be repaid to the tenant or the landlord. The tenant will generally be repaid the Rental Bond in full if the terms of the agreement have not been breached and the landlord has not incurred any costs caused by the tenant.
The first step for any application is to complete and sign a ‘Refund of Rental Bond’ form. This form should be used regardless of whether the tenant and landlord agree to the refund.
After the form has been completed and the property manager has performed the exit routine, a decision will be met surrounding the bond refund. It can go one of four ways:
Refund by Agreement—joint applications
When all the parties to a tenancy agreement agree about how the Rental Bond should be refunded, then the RTA must refund the bond as requested. To do this, the tenant(s) and landlord should jointly complete and sign the ‘Refund of Rental Bond’ form and lodge it with the RTA.
Applications by Tenants
If all the tenants under an agreement apply for a refund of the Rental Bond to be paid to the landlord, the RTA must make the payment.
When all tenants under an agreement apply for a refund of the Rental Bond to any tenant without the agreement of the landlord, the RTA will give notice to the landlord. The notice gives the landlord the opportunity to dispute the claim before the payment is made.
Applications by Landlord
If the landlord applies for a refund of the Rental Bond to all the tenants in the same proportions as their contribution to the bond, then the RTA must make the payment.
If the landlord applies for a refund of the Rental Bond to be paid to themselves, then the RTA will give notice to all the tenants. The notice gives the tenants the opportunity to dispute the claim before the payment is made.
Although there is no restriction, landlords will commonly claim from the Rental Bond for:
- Breaches—losses from breaches of the agreement,
- Rent in Arrears—rent or other charges in arrears,
- Damage—damage to the premises or goods caused by the tenants or their guests,
- Cleaning—cleaning and repairs for the premises (having regard for fair wear and tear).
Disputing Rental Bond refunds
Whenever an application is made by a tenant or landlord where the RTA must notify another party, the person being notified will receive a ‘Notice of Claim’ letter.
The person receiving the letter then has 14 days to dispute the claim by lodging a ‘Dispute Resolution Request’ form with the RTA. If this form is not received within 14 days, RTA will pay the amount as requested.
TAYLAH ANTONIOLLI – MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
07 3202 3040
A go getter and doer, Taylah is a no excuses, get the job done kind of girl. With a strong work ethic and high attention to detail, Taylah is happy to help out wherever she can. Armed with a degree in business specialising in marketing and public relations Taylah brings fresh ideas and innovation to the iThink team.