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Melbourne Renters: Things to Know When Claiming Your Bond Back

Melbourne Renters: Things to Know When Claiming Your Bond Back
  • Olivia White
  • Jul 31 2020
The end of the lease period is filled with the excitement of moving into a new house and hosting grand housewarming parties. However, the celebration is usually preceded by the worrisome bond claiming process. On most occasions, the landlord or the property manager find an excuse to withhold the deposit citing reasons like dirty windows, shabby carpets, stained floors and dirt-laden tiles.

Many tenants let go of the bond to avoid a disagreement at the last moment and end up losing a good amount that could be used to pay for the relocation expenses. However, smart tenants rely on professional end of lease cleaners in Melbourne to get their full bond back.

It is the perfect way to pass the final inspection with flying colours as the experienced cleaners are aware of the requirements of the agents and landlords. Thus as a renter in Melbourne, you must be aware of the things that can help you to claim your bond back. Here is what you need to do when you reach the end of your tenancy.

How Is The Bond Claimed?

The landlord has to lodge the bond with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) at the beginning of the tenancy. The authority holds on to it until the end of the lease period. When the tenant moves out of the rented property, the owner or the agent has to submit a claim for the bond on the RTBA website.

The tenant is sent an email with the link of the claim details, which allows him to access the claim and make changes to it if required. The tenant can choose to accept the bond claim without making any changes and has to provide his bank account details to get the bond refunded.

After both the parties agree to the claim, the money gets credited into the account of the tenant within two business days. The tenant can also download a paper bond claim form from the RTBA website and get it signed by the landlord. The completed form then needs to be submitted to the RTBA to get the refund.

Keeping Your Bond Safe from the Unfair Tactics of the Landlord

Landlords are looking for an opportunity to claim the bond as compensation for an unclean property or damage caused to the house. At times, it can be a fair claim if the landlord has paid for the things that the tenant was supposed to manage or if the tenant did not pay the rent.

However, to avoid a situation of getting cheated by the property manager, you must take photos of the house when you first move in. Also, you must fill out the condition report in a detailed manner and return it to the owner within three business days. It will help you to provide evidence in case of any deceitful claim made by the landlord.

Carpets Can Prove To Be a Battleground

While we make sure to deep clean the kitchen and bathrooms, the carpets often get neglected. Although carpets with a worn-out look are acceptable due to prolonged use, they fall under critical areas to consider during the end of lease cleaning. Thus stained and dust-laden carpets often become the cause of confrontation between the landlord and the tenant.

Therefore, it is in the best interest of both the parties to get the carpets steam cleaned using professional end of lease cleaning in Melbourne. They use heavy-duty vacuums and high-pressure cleaning to get rid of all the dust, pet hair, food particles and stains.

They are experts in transforming their appearance without changing their texture or fading their colour. The industry-grade machines used by them help in removing dust from the deepest layers of the carpets and give them a fresh and sanitised look.

Hire the Best People for End Of Lease Cleaning

The end of the tenancy is a period filled with a lot of running around. You have to meet the brokers, find a new school for kids, familiarise your family with the new neighbouring areas, get the utilities connected at the new place, pack up your stuff, find removalists and get the bond back.

On the whole, you have a lot on your plate with less time on hand. Thus you are in no position to take up the exhausting and strenuous task of top to bottom cleaning.

Thus it is best to hire a renowned and experienced team of end of lease cleaners in Melbourne for the job. These professionals come equipped with cutting-edge tools and proven techniques that help in cleaning the house efficiently. They make the property spick-and-span while following the cleaning checklist approved by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.

Also, you must make sure that cleaners are fully insured so that there is no room for expenses incurred due to mishaps or mistakes committed by amateur cleaners.

Resolving Disputes Due To Wear And Tear

Insignificant wear and tear is acceptable in most cases by the landlord as daily use of the property leads to minor scratches on the floors and chipping of the paint from the walls. The landlord and the tenant can discuss the extent of damage and agree upon a fair amount that will cover the repair expenses.

If both agree on offering the bond or a part of it to the owner, then the tenant must fill out the bond claim form specifying how the amount that should be divided between them.

However, some fussy property managers may charge an exorbitant amount for wear and tear or withhold the entire bond. In such a scenario, the tenant should seek help from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to settle the dispute.

The tenant will have to fill out a VCAT application form asking for the bond along with the proof of tenancy and RTBA bond receipt. The Tribunal will hold a hearing to understand the claims of both the parties and then make a decision on the refund.

How To Prepare For The Hearing?

The landlord has to prove during the hearing with VCAT that he has suffered losses or his property has been damaged. They have to provide evidence that the loss or damage was caused by the tenant due to a breach of the lease or the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (RTA). They should also be able to prove that the amount is reasonable and fair.

On the other hand, the tenant can prepare for the hearing by collecting evidence for three things – time limit of submitting the application, fair wear and tear and depreciation.

  • The landlord must claim to withhold the bond by applying to VCAT within ten business days of the end of the tenancy. VCAT can allow a delay in submission in exceptional circumstances. However, if you believe that the reason for the delay is not justified, then you can object to the extension.
  • VCAT will make the final decision on whether the claims of property damage are genuine, or do they fall under fair wear and tear due to habitation in the premises. For example, if VCAT considers the indentation marks on carpets as fair wear and tear, then the landlord cannot deduct the replacement charges from the bond.
  • VCAT ensures that depreciation of the things being replaced by the landlord due to damage is taken into consideration. It means that the owner cannot charge the full amount for replacing something which was already old and used.

Conclusion

Relocation is an overwhelming task which can become stressful due to the unjust demands of the landlord or the agent. Thus you must make sure that you hire experienced end of lease cleaners in Melbourne to claim your bond back. For all the other details related to making a claim, refer to the points mentioned above.