Bond... Rental Bonds... Retrievals or disputing, is it really refunding?

Once upon a time when you left the place you once called home, your bond was refunded to you. The landlord would attend an inspection at a suitable time and once all checked, the keys were returned and the bond claim form signed. In to the post office to collect your cash. Yes, once upon the bond was refunded, in cash. Do you remember these days? Now you would be lucky to have an agent turn up, let alone with the claim form in hand!

The Aussie Renters of today’s era are EXPECTED to part with some of their money, if not all of it. Seems that every property is considered a cash cow of some form and the previous tenant (who may have cared for the property for years causing no damage) is the one they are milking.

Every state bond authority will advise that the landlord can make a claim for cleaning costs, unpaid rent, damages etc yet the legislation states the bond is held as security against breaching the tenancy agreement. Is it really a breach of the agreement if the property is not cleaned to the landlord’s condition compared to the way it was received?

The worst landlord I ever came across ended up being Bad Landlord Australia’s worst realtor for 2014. This particular woman had all her breach notices written up and delivered them, photocopied and another units number scribbled off, yours there in its place. Never once have I been breached in my 30 years of renting yet the exact same process was followed to detract from the unit having bed bugs! 

A few tips for departing:

  • Download a copy of our Exit Checklist for your state
  • Download a copy of our Ending Tenancy Worksheet, if you believe your landlord will make this process difficult
  • Always complete your own inspection taking loads of photographs
  • Process our Keys Returned Receipt acknowledgement 

One property I vacated was cleaned to showroom condition and I was required to return 3 times by the real estate agent (with a broken toe!) for ridiculous reasons. 

I have since discovered a final inspection is just that, a final inspection. The agent is not permitted to make a new list of things to fix when they “check” the previous list is complete. The agent cannot discover more problems/issues and write another list. Vacant possession is when you returned the keys and a week down the track anything could have happened when the property was not in your possession. Storms could have blown debris and dust throughout the emptiness, it is not your responsibility to clean the floors again or clean the windows.


Posted by Anne Parker