How Do I Get My Rent Deposit Back in Melbourne?

January 4, 2023
rental application approved but changed mind

Key takeaways:

  • Regularly paying rent in advance can increase your chances of getting 100% bond money back.
  • You can claim your bond payment via RTBA Online.
  • The property manager or the landlord inspects the rental property for wear and tear.

How do I get my rent deposit back in Melbourne? Getting your rent deposit back at the end of the rental agreement is an essential and sometimes difficult process. If everything is safe and sound; and in original condition, the property manager returns the 100% rent deposit.

However, if you are having trouble, you can get your rent deposit or rental bond back at the end of the tenancy agreement through RTBA Online (Residential Tenancies Bond Authority). 

RTBA Online provides renters with a legal and secure platform to get their money back. Here we have explained the whole process of claiming your bond back in simple and easy-to-understand steps. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

What is a rental bond?

A rental bond is the initial rent deposit you pay as a security for the rental provider or the landlord. At the end of the rental agreement’s duration, the rental providers or the landlords do a final inspection of the rental properties in Melbourne.

After the final inspection, the property manager can withhold a certain percentage of the bond to cover the cost of any damages to the property. Additionally, the rental provider may decrease the bond money if you fail to follow the terms of the lease agreement.

Here it is essential to note that both the tenant and the landlord can claim bond payment.

Main reasons for the rental providers’ claims for the bond compensation

As a tenant, you will get the full deposit money unless the rental provider claims the compensation. The landlord or the rental provider can claim the bond for the following reasons.

  • You have left the damaged property
  • There is a month’s rent or any other charges remaining to be paid
  • The property manager will have to pay cleanliness or maintenance charges for the next tenant
  • You have made changes in the rental property without taking the landlord’s permission

However, according to Consumer Affairs Victoria, there will be no bond compensation for the rental providers in case of fair wear and tear. Fair wear and tear include property changes after a reasonable usage time and deterioration due to natural forces. The same goes for long-term hotel rentals in Melbourne.

Tips for claiming a 100% rent deposit back

How Do I Get My Rent Deposit Back in Melbourne

Before claiming your rent deposit, discuss how you can maximise the chances of getting 100% bond money back.

  • First, the tenants must double-check their tenancy agreements before leaving the rental property. Find out your copy of this lease agreement and read it thoroughly. This agreement will serve as the condition report to identify the property’s original state.
  • The landlord or the property manager will also cross-check the state of the rental property with this report. Hence, fixing any damages and properly cleaning the whole space is preferable.
  • According to the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2018, you need to inform the landlord about the end of your lease period. It is best to contact the landlord at least a month before the rental agreement ending date.

Thus, they can do the final inspection and also look for new tenants. However, if you do not inform the landlords about the end of the tenancy agreement, they may withhold a portion of your initial deposit money.

Here are a few more tips to ensure getting your bond back:

  • You should be present when the landlord or the property manager inspects the property. However, ensure that hired cleaning and maintenance professionals are present if you cannot make it to the place on time. Thus, if the property manager pinpoints any issues, the professionals will deal with them on the spot. This practice will help you get the maximum deposit money back.
  • If you pay rent in advance in Victoria or simply pay rent regularly, you will increase your chances of getting the deposit money back.

Process of claiming the rental bond/deposit back by the renter

How Do I Get My Rent Deposit Back in Melbourne

If the rental provider is delaying the bond refund process or you are facing other relevant issues, you can contact start the claim through RTBA Online. You will need to fill out a bond claim form to lodge the claim.

RTBA Online issues written notice to the rental provider for releasing the bond payment after the tenants start the claim. The rental provider must show VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal) proceedings or the evidence of giving the bond money back to the tenant within fourteen days.

RTBA Online checks the application number of VCAT proceedings, and if everything is authentic, it cancels the bond claim by the tenant. Otherwise, RTBA Online deposits the bond to the tenant’s Australian bank account.

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