Rental bond return

I’ve vacated my rental property. What steps do I take to get my bond back?

If you’ve ended a lease, you may encounter one of three scenarios:

1. No claim is made against your rental bond

In this scenario, your landlord will make an application that requests the money be returned to you. You and your landlord will sign a Bond Claim Form where you nominate a bank account, and you should be paid back the next business day after lodgement.

Hot tip: Never sign a Bond Claim Form that doesn’t specify the amount to be paid back. If the bond is to be paid in full, make sure the full amount is recorded in the ‘Tenant payment details’ section and ensure you keep a copy.

2. You agree on an amount to be deducted from your bond

If you mutually agree that some (or all) of your bond is to be paid to your landlord, then you both need to fill out the Bond Claim Form stating how much is to be paid to the landlord, and how much to you.

Hot tip: Check that the appropriate amounts are specified in the tenant payment section and the landlord payment section and ensure they add up to the total bond amount.

3. You disagree with your landlord

In the event you and your landlord disagree about how much of your rental bond should be returned, either of you can make an application to the relevant tribunal.

Example scenario (Victoria)
In Victoria, if your landlord wants all or part of your bond and you disagree, they must apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an order that they are paid the bond within 10 business days of your tenancy ending.
If this happens, make sure they have a forwarding address for you, because otherwise you will be given notice about a hearing at the rental property where you used to live. If you want to defend the claim on your bond money, you must attend the hearing.

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Understanding bond disputes

We asked Managing Director at Real Property Manager, John Gilmovich about bond disputes and how they work.

John said the biggest areas of dispute about rental bonds are cleaning, property damage and pet keeping issues.

“Most managing agents will provide a moving out/cleaning checklist/procedure for tenants to follow for a successful bond refund, but it is always suggested that a property is cleaned by a professional cleaner and a receipt provided to the agent/landlord as proof,” he said.

If in doubt, John said a tenant should refer to their original in-going condition report to get some idea of what the state of the property was like when they first took occupancy.

The law allows fair wear and tear, depreciation of fixtures and fittings and takes further consideration of the age of the property, length of tenure and amount of rent paid when determining disputes over bonds,” he said.

“In New South Wales, tenancy legislation requires the agent/landlord to serve notice on a tenant explaining why they are making a full or partial claim on your rental bond and the tenant is given a chance to discuss or dispute the claim before the bond is paid out.”

You might also like:
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John Gilmovich
John Gilmovich
Founder, Director and Senior Property Manager at | [email protected]

John Gilmovich is the Founder, Director and Senior Property Manager for Real Property Manager Pty Ltd in Five Dock, Sydney. An independent mobile agency with a purpose to provide personalised property management services to the Sydney property investor community, Real Property Manager is powered by a new innovative property management disruptor- Rent360. John has almost three decades of industry experience and is highly skilled in rental property management and property investing.

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