Your bond is a big chunk of money and the idea of losing it can be pretty scary.
But contrary to the horror stories, it’s not that difficult to get your bond back. You just need to follow the correct procedures, take good care of the property and maintain a decent professional relationship with your landlord.
Here are a few steps you can take to make sure that you get your bond back when you exit a property.
When you pay your bond to your landlord they must lodge it within 10 days with your state’s bond authority. You will receive a notification from the bond authority once the bond has been processed. If you haven’t heard anything, you must contact them as soon as possible.
If you move out of a house you must have the bond transferred to the new tenants. This is normally the landlord’s responsibility, but if you’ve arranged for another tenant to take over your lease then you need to make the bond transfer. Simply call the bond authority and have it transferred within five days of the new tenant moving in.
Condition reports protect both landlords and renters. If you correctly fill out your condition report and having it officially signed by your landlord you should avoid having to pay for existing damage to the property.
Top tip: Accurately and promptly complete the condition report when you move in. It’s the best protection for both the landlord and the tenant.
Once your tenancy ends the landlord will come to inspect the property. This will determine whether you receive your bond back.
If the landlord agrees you should get your bond back
If the landlord agrees that that the property is in good condition, you will receive your bond back. Both you and the landlord need to sign a bond claim form. You must also provide bank details for the money to be transferred in to. Make sure the full bond amount is shown on the bond claim form.
If the landlord disagrees that you should get your bond back
If the landlord believes that you’ve damaged the house beyond fair wear and tear, they can make a claim against you and request that you pay for the repairs. If you agree that the damages were your fault, you can simply agree on a reduced bond figure that covers the cost of the repairs. You can then lodge the claim with the Bond Authority, showing the reduced figure on the form.
Top tip: Be reasonable. If you broke the shower screen because you were being careless then you need to replace it.
If you can’t reach an agreement with your landlord
The process for bond disputes varies from state to state; if you’re not sure what steps you should take, consider contacting your state’s tenants’ union.
Top tip: Don’t withhold rent in anticipation of bond issues. You have to pay rent to live in the property. The bond is a separate issue.
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