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Tribunal

Bond refunds

Vacant possession – this is the legal word for returning the property by handing back the keys. The same terminology is used when the landlord or their agent hand you the keys to move in.  

Claim the bond – as soon as vacant possession is given to the landlord or their agent, process a claim for your bond to be refunded immediately. If the landlord wishes to dispute the claim you have made, they must lodge an application with the Tribunal. [Scenario 1]

Other party – if the landlord or their agent process a claim for your bond money without your consent [Scenario 2], they must supply:

  • A copy of the outgoing/exit conditon report completed and signed by the landlord or their agent
  • Estimates, quotes, invoices and/or receipts for anything they are claiming

This is required within seven (7) days of claiming the bond without your consent in accordance with s. 165 of the Act.

If you wish to dispute this claim for your bond money, you must lodge an application with the Tribunal. This will cost you money as well as make you responsible for proving why your bond should not be given to the landlord or their agent for anything they are claiming.

At this stage, whether you claimed the bond or not, the Bond retrieval 1st letter can be compiled and sent to the other party. This letter is the start of the negotiation process and it may take us up to 24 hours to process. We do not email anything to the other party on your behalf, Aussie Renters is not a third party to this dispute, we work with the tenant only. The letter will be emailed to you and once you are happy with it, forward the letter to the landlord or their agent.

Application

Please remember, when you lodge an application at the Tribunal, you must write the landlord (owner) name as the respondent, not the real estate agent that is managing the property. The tenancy agreement is between the owner and the tenant therefore, their name (found on your tenancy agreement) must be written as the respondent with the address noted as: C/- Real Estate Company.

After lodging an application, confirmation will be received from NCAT being a:

Notice of conciliation and hearing by telephone with directions (tenancy)

This notice provides very important information and you should read each paragraph, completely understanding what it is saying.

  1. You have been advised the matter can be both a conciliation and hearing
  2. By telephone – your matter will be heard over the telephone (not face to face) and 15 minutes has been allocated
  3. With directions – states what date the applicant’s evidence must be given to the Tribunal and the other party by. The evidence bundle must be page numbered, supplied in a folder (but not in a plastic sleeve)

Read this document as it provides you valuable information as it is a Direction by the Tribunal.

Note the date the evidence bundle (we refer to it as the Court file) must be provided to the Tribunal and the other party, it will be written on the notice. Check out what is required for a NCAT Hearing.

Act quickly as you only have 14 days to supply your evidence bundle!

If the matter is adjourned, the Tribunal requires the applicant to supply their statements, affidavits within 14 days (evidence is already supplied) and the other party has the right to supply their response to this file within the next 14 days.

Remember, the Tribunal are generally lenient and will allow you to change/amend any orders you are seeking in the future or if your circumstances change. 

Counterclaim

If you or the other party wish to involve other tenancy issues that were not directly related to the bond claim, a counterclaim should be lodged with the Tribunal. Some of our members have lodged counterclaims and this has allowed them to present their entire tenancy, making a claim against the landord for things that happened in the past. 

Please ensure you contact TAAS and/or the Tribunal for assistance when lodging a counterclaim. Legal advice can be sought from TAAS about any claim or counterclaim. Aussie Renters have developed a report within the Court file to request any claims/counterclaims you may wish to make, however we do not offer any legal advice about how to make these claims.

The Other Party’s Court File

Before or just prior to attending the conciliation and hearing, the other party will provide a copy of their evidence bundle. 

In the majority of cases, valuable information is supplied in this file and you must read it thoroughly. If you can use anything from this document, note the page number and your response in a notebook or diary or if you process either of our Conciliation packages, you can make notes on the Claim against bond report for reference on the day.

If this matter gets adjourned for a Hearing and you wish to purchase one of our Tribunal packages, please forward it to us via email or upload it to your Google Drive Shared Folder.  

Conciliation Conference

One of the most important things you need to know about this conference is, matter can be finalised at the conciliation stage. If there is only a few claims against your bond, there is every possibility the Tribunal may decide to make an Order immediately rather than adjourning the matter for a Hearing. 

At this point, you have to decide how you will approach your Court file preparation. From the feedback provided by our members, the other party supplies a very lengthy and detailed Court file to the Tribunal. It may provide a great deal of evidence and for this reason, the Tribunal may decide to deal with the matter immediately and the outcome will decided within the 15 minutes!

If your Court file is not thoroughly prepared,  you may be at a disadvantage. At the same time, you should consider the costs involved with preparing an adequate file for the matter.

Conciliation package

Decision time! 

Order the Conciliation negotiation letter package only and receive the Claim against bond report as well as a Bond Worksheet to help write your submission and response to the claim against your bond money:

  • Scenario 1 tenants may be in an alright position and not require anything further. Completing the Bond Worksheet will assist with the items you might need to vocalise your objections to taking your bond money
  • Scenario 2 tenants may need to provide their defence without the other party’s evidence bundle and due to not many claims being made against the bond, they believe there is not much to defend 

Basically, if the claim is smallish and you have confidence in yourself to defend the claim then this package might be the only investment you make here. Simple order this package, complete the form for the second negotiation letter and work on your Bond Worksheet. Once you have worked a few dates, complete an Affidavit referencing these important dates with what occurred/happended on them. 

Order the Conciliation conference package providing a better fit for your circumstances as you can follow a structured report and create your own Statement of Evidence as well as setting up the Response to Claims report. 

If you become overwhelmed and wish us to complete the Court file you can respond to the quote we have supplied and opt to use our Personal Assistants services.  Please action this request for assistance as a matter of urgency. Due to the short timeframe, we need to start work on your file promptly. 

Tribunal Packages

Aussie Renters offers the Personal Assistants to prepare your Court file.  This is an actual person working on your documents and are trained and skilled in finding the right evidence to present as well as your evidence from the tenancy.

Dates are required and if they cannot be provided, guestimates are needed. Evidence cannot be entered if there is no date, so ensure everything is provided with a date. 

There are several packages that can be purchased and if you used our services for the bond retrieval, you will have received a quote for our Personal Assistants service. Please pay the quote as instructed to have a time allocated for producing your Court file or contact us to use PayPal. 

The Dispute Tribunal packages are listed below:

  • Small – $150 investment – no more than three claims being made against the bond and these must be not be exorbitant claims
  • Medium – $250 investment – three to five regular claims or up to three exorbitant claims but the claims are less than the bond refund
  • Large – $350 investment – up to  regular claims or up to three to five exorbitant claims but the claims are less than the bond refundsmall response document with evidence responding to no more than two claims being made against the bond
  • Excessive – $450 investment – small response document with evidence responding to no more than two claims being made against the bond

With the Plus packages for each size, you can have our Personal Assistants service conduct checks on the claims being made, so if you believe the invoice is dodgy, perhaps we will find all the evidence needed to discredit and render the invoice invalid. Every discrepancy we find will be presented in your report. Another way to reduce the amounts ordered is by finding comparisons and depreciation for the item.

We have designed a complete package to help show your efforts to negotiate a mutual agreement and to show the tenant in a positive light. By the time the Tribunal has read your document, they won’t be asking you too many questions as everything they need will be before them. If you have been left to suffer at the hands of the landlord during your tenancy, consider your options and know we can support you and your matter to fight for fair!

Ordering your Package

There are two different ways to organise our packages:

  1. Find us when claiming your bond refund or when you dispute the claim against your bond money; or
  2. When you have to fight for it at the Tribunal

If you found us from the start, you can order the Conciliation negotiation package then upgrade to the Conciliation conference package. At this point, we will send you a quote with the recommended package and apply your discount to this quote. You do not have to continue with the quote, it is there just in case you need additional support.

If you are ordering a package directly from the internet, you need to work out what size package fits your matter. If we discover the package you have selected is unsuitable, we will advise which package we believe you should be investing in.

If you decide that the correct package is unaffordable, we will ensure the package you have selected will present your evidence as best as possible and work on your package to the limits of your investment. 

We require approximately five (5) days to complete your Court file while the Large and Excessive packages could take up to seven (7) days to complete. Aussie Renters will attend to your matter quickly however, you are required to read the draft and “add comments” to allow us to change/alter the document. You must make time to attend to this as quickly as possible to ensure the Court file is completely on time. 

Currently, the Tribunal will only accept hard copy files in a folder (no plastic sleeves) and you will need to sign your Statement of Evidence prior to dropping the Court file into the Tribunal. When the file is complete, we will email you a full copy of the Court file as well as a quote for our Print’n’Post package. This package cannot be quoted on until the file is finished but if you do require it, we will print and express post the Court file directly to you.

To order the packages from our website, you must be a member and be logged on when selecting the package. 

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