Getting Your Bond Back In Victoria – The Complete Guide
Rental bonds are one of the key aspects of the landlord-tenant relationship. When a tenant moves into a rental unit, the landlord asks for a bond amount, which is used as financial security against the damage or untidy condition of the property or breach of a lease agreement.
If you consider yourself a great tenant, understand your roles, duties and responsibilities during and at the end of your lease and protect your hard-earned deposited security.
According to the residential tenancy laws in Victoria, tenants are responsible for professional end of lease cleaning Melbourne for easy retrieval of bond money.
However, unpaid rent, damage issues (except normal wear and tear), outstanding bills, etc, could also be a reason for the landlord to withhold your security deposit. If you are also vacating a rented property soon and want your full bond back in Victoria without any dispute, then consider the following guide:
The Basic Bond Rules in Victoria
There is no denying that Australia’s rental or tenancy laws vary from state to state. But, when it comes to Victoria, the landlords charge bond money which is equivalent to one month’s rent. This can also differ depending on your weekly rent.
However, landlords or property managers are legally not allowed to request a bond amount equivalent to more than one month’s rent if the weekly rent is less than $900. You can stay relaxed because the RTBA will receive your bond deposit once you sign the lease agreement.
According to the laws, landlords can deduct from your bond money for cleaning and repairs at the end of a tenancy. If you don’t want to end up with any dispute or conflict, know your responsibilities as a tenant that can help you get bond money with ease. The best part is that you can claim your bond online after the inspection.
Tip: Read on some key FAQs on rental bond online to clear your doubts.
Understanding the Responsibilities of Tenants in Victoria
In Victoria, tenants have certain responsibilities mentioned in the Residential Tenancies ACT 1997. These duties and responsibilities can help tenants to maintain a strong relationship and make the tenancy journey transparent and dispute-free
- Pay Unpaid Rent and Bills
A tenant must pay the outstanding rent on time and clear pending bills before moving out of their rented property. Not clearing the payments can lead to a bond deduction.
- Do Necessary Repairs
If you don’t want any dispute, avoid intentional damage to the rented property, fittings and fixtures. In case you are moving out, inspect the property thoroughly, review your entry condition report and make necessary repairs, such as broken windows, doors, tap leakage issues, etc. It is important to remember that you are not responsible for the existing damages. Still, you need to keep the initial condition report handy at the end of your tenancy.
- Give Proper Notice For Vacating
This is one of the most overlooked points that can also create an issue at the time of bond retrieval. It is important to provide the required notice period (according to the agreement), before vacating the property. A landlord needs to time find new tenants and notifying them in advance can give them enough time to advertise their rented property in the local area.
- Do Not Breach the Lease Agreement
Make sure you strictly follow the terms and conditions of the lease agreement, which may include rules on pets, major renovations, domestic violence and cleanliness. Breaching the agreement means losing your security deposit at the tenancy’s end.
- Return the Property in a Clean Condition
Most of the rental conflicts occur due to the dirty condition of rental properties. When vacating, tenants should understand the importance of a clean and hygienic indoor environment. You must leave the property reasonably clean for the new tenant and meet the specific requirements according to your lease agreement. Instead of doing it yourself, hire professionals for a cheap end of lease cleaning Melbourne, Victoria. It is because they follow the REIVIC-approved checklist to help you get the bond money back with ease.
If you are doing it yourself, consider this common checklist and achieve desired results:
Deep Clean Kitchen:
- Clean the shelves and cupboards
- Clean the cabinets inside and out
- Remove stains and grime from appliances, such as oven, microwave and fridge
- Windows- You can hire window cleaners for high-rise buildings to prevent injury.
- De-grease stovetop and wipe down countertop
- Clean and disinfect the sink and polish faucets
- Polish backsplash
- Sweep and mop the floor
Bathroom Cleaning Checklist:
- Remove cobwebs
- Clean the showerhead, shower walls and glass doors
- Wash curtains
- Wipe down the toilets
- Rub the bathtub and sink
- Polish mirrors
- Wipe down tiles and scrub tile grouts
- Sweep and mop the floor
Living room and Bedroom Checklist:
- Remove cobwebs and inspect marks
- Vacuum air vents
- Remove dust from ceiling fans and walls
- Remove stains from walls
- Wipe down light fixtures, fittings and switch boards
- Wash windows inside and out
- Vacuum blinds and wash curtains
- Vacuum sofa and mattress
- Clean door tracks, baseboards
- Vacuum Carpets and rugs
- Sweep and mop the floor
- Clean the patio area
- Remove cobwebs from garage walls and mop the floor
Do not forget to clean high traffic areas as landlords thoroughly inspect and can withhold a part of bond money if left dirty.
Steps To get Bond Back After Rental Inspection
After returning the keys and rental inspection, make sure both parties agree upon the bond retrieval. Here are key steps:
- Make sure you and the landlord agree on the amount to be funded from the bond. For that, you need to fill out a bond claim form, which is easily available on the Residential Tenancy Bond Authority website.
- In this step, both parties mustsign the bond claim form, which ensures that a landlord agrees on the retrieval of bond money.
- Submit the signed form to the RTBA via mail or online through their official website.
- The RTBA will process the bond amount after checking your form. If there is no conflict, the bond amount will be returned to your nominated bank account within 3 weeks.
- If you or the landlord don’t agree upon the bond amount, you can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible.
If you want to keep things sorted, hire end of lease cleaning Melbourne professionals for sparkling and high standard services because most disputes happen because of half-baked cleaning.
Tip: It is good to keep records of your lease agreement and documents related to bond money.
With the help of this guide, you can smoothly move out of your rented property along with your full bond money. Make sure you follow the responsibilities throughout your lease and leave the property in a clean and well-maintained condition to avoid disputes.