When you rent an apartment in Australia, you are often required to pay a bond that is equivalent to four weeks of rent. In some cases, it may be more if the apartment is furnished or the property is especially valuable. Regardless of how much you have to put up, the goal is to get most or all of it back. How can this be done?
How to Get Your Bond Money Back
If you are serious about getting deposit back from landlord, you will want to sign a claim-for-refund as soon as you leave the apartment. While the bond company will send you a notice about getting your money back, it will be sent to your last known address, which is the apartment that you just left. Signing that claim form gives you more leverage to get your money back assuming that your apartment was left in good condition.
Leave the Apartment in Good Condition
Getting your bond back depends largely on how well you treat the property while you live there. If you clean regularly and don’t cause any physical damage, you should be able to get most or all of your bond back when your lease expires. You may want to talk to your landlord about his or her expectations prior to signing the lease to ensure that you know his or her definition of dirty or damaged ahead of time. A professional bond cleaning service may be requested before you leave or before you take possession of the property so both parties are on the same page as to the apartment’s condition.
Pay Your Rent
If you don’t pay your rent, your landlord may have good reason to keep your bond. Keep a good record of each payment that you make to ensure that you don’t lose your bond over a disputed payment or lack thereof. Hopefully, your landlord will use electronic methods of keeping records or you will have a bank that offers up-to-date online statements.
Stay in Touch With Your Landlord
Even if you don’t sign a claim to get your refund, you should know whether or not you have a reasonable expectation of getting your bond back. By keeping in touch with your landlord, you can ask whether he or she has been refunded that money or whether a refund is in the works. If so, you make a claim to it or at least force your landlord to tell you why you won’t get it back.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Legal Action
If necessary, you should be ready to take legal action to get your money back. While it could take time and attorney’s fees to get it back, its principal that matters. By not taking action, your landlord may decide to withhold money from future tenants just because. Of course, you could also be out hundreds or thousands of dollars for no legal reason if you don’t take action. By making sure your residential lease agreement was correctly drafted. It will protect you in the event of disagreements or misunderstandings.
Going through a pre sale building inspection or a pre handover inspection may make it easier to get your rental bond back because you and your landlord both know its condition before you took possession. That can be used as a baseline to prove that you kept it in good shape and have a legal right to get your money back.