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November 26, 2019

4 Ways To Get Your Rental Bond Back

A rental bond is designed to give landlords protection for their investment property, making sure there’s some money available to cover any expenses caused by the tenant when they move out.

That’s fair, but how can tenants increase their chances of getting the bond back without any deductions?

If you follow these simple steps, you’ll be sure to be in the best position to get your bond refunded in full.

#1: Know the legal details

Rental bonds are covered by strict regulations, with steps to follow to make sure both landlords and tenants are equally well represented in the eyes of the law. All those things you’ve heard about tenants being ghosted when it came time to get the bond back? They’re not likely to happen if the law has been followed.

The rules for rental bonds kick off at the very beginning of a tenancy and continue until the very end, so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the process when moving into a new rental property. You can read more about Queensland’s rental bond regulations here, but some key things to know include:

  • Bonds are not a legal requirement but are common across the board.
  • The bond can’t be more than the cost of four weeks’ rent if your weekly rent is under $700. If it’s more than $700, the bond will be negotiated between the property manager, landlord and tenant.
  • The bond can only be taken when you’ve received all the paperwork, including a copy of the lease, body corporate by-laws and any special terms.
  • The bond has to be lodged with the RTA, by either the tenant or landlord/property manager. If you give the money to the landlord, they have to lodge it with the RTA within 10 days.
  • Either the tenant or the landlord can make a claim to the bond at the end of the tenancy, asking for a refund (the tenant) or to cover the cost of any lost money (the landlord).

#2: Keep it clean

Cleaning is one of the most common reasons renters don’t get a full bond refund in Australia, according to a report from 2018. You’re required to leave the property in an excellent condition when you vacate, so any traces of dirt or grime are likely to take a chunk out of your refund to cover the cost of a cleaner.

If cleaning is the only problem, you’ll often get some of the bond back, but the amount taken to pay the cleaner could be more than it would have cost to arrange the cleaning yourself.

To boost your chances of getting your full refund, get started on cleaning well before you move out so you’re not rushing it at the end. Then, make sure to get into all those forgotten areas like behind the fridge, under the oven, along sliding door runners and behind curtains – even if they seem minor, they can be the thing that causes your refund to be withheld. Marks on walls need to be approached carefully, to prevent further damage. If you’re not sure you can do a thorough job, organise a professional to do it on your behalf so the bond process still goes smoothly.

#3: Communicate with your property manager

Accidents happen, so it’s not unheard of for even really fabulous tenants to face a repair bill for damage done to the property. But instead of leaving it to the end of your tenancy when you have a long list of other issues to take care of, the best approach is to let your property manager know as soon as the damage occurs. Not only does this mean the repairs can be handled while you’re still in the property, but dealing with it immediately can also stop the problem getting worse and costing you more of your bond refund.

#4: Take care of your responsibilities

The condition the property is in when you leave isn’t the only reason you might not receive your full bond refund. The bond can be used to cover any costs the landlord has to pay because you haven’t held up your end of the deal, so if you’ve missed rental payments, broken the lease or done anything else that breaches your agreement, the landlord could be within their rights to take the cost from your bond.

The obvious way to avoid this is by meeting all of your obligations and keeping payments up-to-date, or speak to your property manager as early as possible when facing issues.

Thinking of moving?

Get in touch with us today to find your next rental, or for more tips on how to get your bond fully refunded.

Article by Katie Knight

Some may say real estate is in Katie’s blood having joined real estate following her father, Ian Knight, into the industry where he had pioneered the path of real estate in Toowoomba in the late ‘80s and opened the ninth regional RE/MAX office… View profile

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