The rental bond is a one-time payment made by the tenant to the landlord at the beginning of a tenancy. It’s designed to protect the landlord in the event the lease agreement is broken. This could happen as a result of damage the tenant causes to the property, or because the tenant skips town without paying rent.
Assuming this second scenario doesn’t happen, the landlord will have the property inspected after the lease agreement is up and issue a condition report. The landlord or property manager can then make a claim on the bond if they feel they are owed money. Other than the two instances already mentioned, a landlord may try to get the bond to help pay for unpaid for utility bills, or if the tenant did not give back the keys, forcing the landlord to change the locks.
But if nothing like this happens, then you should get your bond back. And here’s how to do it.
How to Get Your Bond Back
Start by making sure you have records of all rental payments so that there can be no dispute about whether or not the landlord is owed money. Another thing to do is to review the condition report you signed when moving in. If the property is not returned in the same or better condition, with the exception of fair wear and tear, then you can expect the landlord to want to make a claim on the bond.
The easiest thing to do is to keep things cleaned and well-maintained from the beginning. Make maintenance a regular thing so that you don’t need to scramble in the weeks leading up to your lease expiration to get everything back into good condition. If something does happen, make sure to fix it right away so that you’re not left with a damaged property at the end of your lease period.
Follow Your Lease Agreement
Everything that’s required of you is in your lease agreement. So, before you schedule your final inspection, make sure to go through this agreement and make sure you’ve met all your obligations.
Remember, this is a legal contract, so your opinion doesn’t matter. If it says in the agreement that carpets must be cleaned, you need to do it. Whether or not you think the carpets need to be cleaned is irrelevant.
Normal Wear and Tear
Living in a property is naturally going to cause some damage. And the good news is that you’re not responsible for what would be considered “normal wear and tear.” What this is will depend a bit on opinion, but it includes the following:
- Faded curtains or frayed cords
- Furniture indentations and traffic marks on carpet
- Scuffed wood floors
- Faded, chipped or cracked paint
- Worn kitchen benchtop
- Loose hinges
- Cracks in the wall from movement
- Water stains caused by leaky roofs or pipes
- Worn pain near light switches
Should your landlord make a claim against your bond, you will be notified. The first step is to contact your landlord to find out if an agreement can be reached. If you can’t, then you’ll need to request a hearing in front of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal, but you need to do this within seven days of the claim, so act quickly if your landlord makes a claim.