Complete Guide To Get Bond Back When Vacating A Rented Property

cropped picture of two people exchanging the money

Complete Guide To Get Bond Back When Vacating A Rented Property

By : angila
At the end of tenancy, vacating a rented property successfully is crucial for every tenant for getting the bond back. A bond is a sum of money; a tenant pays the property manager or landlord at the start of a tenancy as a security deposit.

This sum is lodged with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) until the end of the lease agreement. Every tenant’s prime goal while leaving a rented property is to get the entire security deposit.

Most hire professionals like experience removalists and end of lease cleaners in Melbourne to manage difficult tasks like packing, moving their belongings and deep cleaning the rented property. Besides this, there are other things to know, and if you are a tenant, here is a complete guide to getting your bond back at the end of the tenancy. Have a look!

Paying a Bond

Knowing how to pay the bond is essential for tenants when the landlord/property manager asks for it. By law, the lesser has to provide the lessee with a complete and signed bond lodgement form issued by the RTBA. This form should be given at the same time you submit the money for the bond. Other responsibilities of the property manager/landlord to get the bond lodged include the following.

  • Share a copy of the signed lodgement form with you to keep it as bond payment proof.
  • Submit the form and lodge the money with RTBA within ten days of receiving the amount. After this is done, you should get confirmation from RTBA within 15 days, and if you don’t, then you must contact the authority.
  • In addition, the landlord should share two signed condition report copies.

Note: While paying the bond, please get a receipt particularly if you paid in cash. Also, don’t pay the bond until you sign the lease contract and get the copies of the original condition report of the real estate.

Responsibilities of a Tenant

The onus of honouring the lease agreement and fulfilling duties is not on the landlord only.A tenant has responsibilities too. The most important ones are as follows.

  • Inspect the property to see it is in the same state as mentioned in the original condition report. If you find any problem with the state of the house or its fixtures/fittings, immediately let the landlord know.
  • Tenants who pay bond can edit and add to the condition report and get their complete bond back on the basis of this proof.
  • Pay your rent on time and keep all rent receipts with you.
  • Maintain the property and keep it reasonably clean to avoid any problems during the end of tenancy inspection by the property manager or landlord. Problems such as mould growth, pests, dirty carpets etc. arising due to tenant’s incapability to clean result in tenants not getting the full rental deposit back.
  • Put any requests for maintenance, repairs, and sub-letting, among others in writing and using forms available online on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.
  • Give appropriate notice to the landlord when planning to vacate by serving the ‘Notice to Landlord of Rented Premises’ form. This form should be signed by you, state the reason(optional) and mention the date on which you want to vacate.
  • Clean the property adequately to return it in the same condition as it was at the time of occupancy. You can clean the property yourself or take the assistance of end of lease cleaners in Melbourne.
  • Complete your duties as stated in the lease agreement you signed before starting the tenancy.

Hire Professional End of Lease Cleaners

Since you have to return the rented real estate in the same and reasonably clean condition it was in at the start of the tenancy, you need to deep clean it. If professionals sanitised the property before your occupation, you need to take the assistance of end of lease cleaning experts in Melbourne.

A landlord cannot force you to hire professionals but to clean the property or its fixtures as per the original condition report, you may need the services of experts. For example, if professionals shampooed the carpets, then you need to hire end of lease cleaners in Melbourne to shampoo the carpets. You can DIY clean the rest of the property as per the requirement of the landlord.

Bond cleaning is essential for getting your security deposit back, and to increase your chances; it is best to book professional cleaners who sanitise properties according to an approved-checklist.

Also, the experienced end of lease cleaners use expertise, equipment, and techniques that enable them to clean rented properties according to expectation/standards of landlords or property managers. By hiring experienced end of lease cleaners in Melbourne, you increase your chances of getting your bond back.

Claiming the Bond

Claiming the bond is less stressful and cumbersome for tenants who don’t have outstanding rent payment, keep the property in an acceptably clean condition, and perform their duties according to the lease agreement. However, it is not all there is to the process of receiving your bond and here are steps every tenant should know.

  • Agree on the refund amount with your landlord, who will then submit a bond claim after you vacate the property. The claim is lodged online on the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) website by submitting the required details.
  • You will receive the claim details via a link on your email which you click to accept or request changes (if any). Additionally, you need to enter your bank details.
  • After ensuring all parties agree, the RTBA will deposit the amount to your bank account.
  • Alternately, a bond claim can be made by post. Generate and print the bond claim form from the RTBA website by searching your details and choosing refund this bond option. Fill in the details, sign the form, get it signed by the landlord, and mail it immediately to the authority.

Note: Each form has a unique number, and you cannot get a blank one. Also, never sign a form that doesn’t show the refund amount. If your landlord gives such a form to you to sign, it is an offence. Any claim form should clearly mention the bond refund amount and its bifurcation.

Timeline for Getting a Rental Bond Refund

Within two days of acceptance of the claim online by the tenant the bond refund is finalised, and the RTBA will repay it to the given bank account. Bond acceptance should be done within 14 days. In case the claim was submitted via post, give extra two-three business days for bond repayment after the RTBA receives it.

People who are overseas and don’t have an Australian bank account can get the bond money through check which is submitted to your overseas bank account. If your overseas bank doesn’t deposit the cheque, a bank transfer can be arranged with some charges.

Causes of Bond Delays or Disputes

A delay in receiving your bond repayment is possible if you haven’t provided the correct bank account details. Other reasons include filling the claim form incorrectly, or signatures don’t match the ones on the bond lodgement/tenant transfer form.

Causes of disputes are different, and the prime one is when the tenant and landlord do not agree on the amount of the bond to be repaid and its division.

If the disagreement cannot be solved with one-on-one discussion, you can get a hearing with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). For getting a VCAT hearing, you need to fill an application form, attach relevant evidence supporting your plea, and send a copy of the application to your landlord too.

Upon receiving a favourable order from the VCAT directing the RTBA to repay the bond, you should fill a paper claim form. To get your bond, send the form to the RTBA along with the VCAT order and a copy of your photo ID showing your signature. In such cases, the signature of the landlord is not required.

Alternately, if the landlord approaches the VCAT for an order, you need to appear to defend your case.

The Bottom Line

Getting your bond back is a major concern. It should not be a problem if you fulfill your duties as per the lease agreement, hire expert end of lease cleaners in Melbourne to clean the property, and return the property in the same condition it was in at the start of the tenancy.

However, there can still be doubts and worries, which is why you should use this guide to get your security deposit back when vacating a rented property. Armed with the right information and knowledge, you can move out of a property successfully and receive your bond repayment without any hassle.