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Rental Bond Dispute in Australia – How to Manage

January 25, 2023
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Key takeaways:

  • The landlord will first lodge the bond claim against the tenant
  • Adhere to the agreement terms to avoid a rental bond dispute in Australia
  • The tenant can claim a rental bond against the landlord’s claim if the other party does not settle on an agreement
  • The landlords can contest the tenant’s claim

Your landlord or property manager has to pay you back your bond money at the end of the tenancy agreement. However, in some cases, the landlords cause a delay in bond refunds or lodge a bond claim against the tenant.

Such issues lead to a rental bond dispute in Australia. Thankfully, there are ways you can avoid that.

Here we discuss the rental bond claims, bond refund disputes, and relevant Australian government proceedings in detail. The whole thing may seem complicated, but it really isn’t, if you have correct information. You should always know your rights as a renter before entering any agreement.

What is a rental bond?

Once you’ve been approved as the applicant for a rental property in Australia, you will be asked to sign the tenancy agreement.

A rental bond is the money a tenant pays after signing the tenancy agreement. This rental bond offers financial security to the property manager or the landlord. Also, they can access the money if the tenant stops paying their rent, causes damage to the property, or tries to cancel the tenancy agreement.

The property managers or landlords must pay back the rental bonds to the tenants at the end of a tenancy. In addition, after signing the tenancy agreement, the landlord or property manager signs the rental bond lodgment papers stating the bond amount paid by the tenant.

Furthermore, a rental bond is a legal document protected by your residential Australian state’s laws. The rental bond amount varies depending on where you live in the country.

How to get the rental bond back

Rental Bond Dispute in Australia

The surest way of rental bond refunds is by keeping the property clean and tidy and paying your rent on time. After signing the tenancy agreement, the landlord will provide you with a report, about the building’s condition, to sign and keep safe.

This condition report contains detailed information about the rental property’s condition at the time the tenancy starts. Also, the landlord will check the property’s condition at the end of the agreement based on this condition report. And any wear and tear issue can become the cause of a rental bond dispute in Australia.

Therefore, we advise you to:

  • Leave the property in the best possible condition. And if there are any cleanliness or wear and tear issues, mend them before the end date.
  • Pay your bills, and rent on time. And there must not be any unpaid rent, utility bills, or money owed to the landlord.

You might be wondering how much a bond clean is if you’d prefer not to the cleaning yourself. This can be anywhere between $20-$50 per hour or a flat fee of around $200.

Typically, your landlord lodges the bond claim if both parties agree on refunding the bond money. 2-6 weeks is how long the landlord has to refund your bond. However, in case of tenancy disputes, as a tenant, you can contact your state’s authorities to apply for a rental bond refund.

To start the procedure you should request a bond refund form and submit it to the relevant authorities. Also, the time and process for the bond refund vary from state to state. In addition, you should check your state’s residential bond authority for details.

Reasons why the landlord submit a bond claim against the tenant

Rental Bond Dispute in Australia

The landlord or the rental provider can submit a bond claim against the tenant if they don’t want to refund the bond money. Typically, the landlord has to claim the bond within three days of the end of the tenancy agreement. The main reasons behind the bond claim by the rental provider are;

  • The occupant has damaged the rental property
  • The rental property is not properly clean
  • The tenant did not pay rent or owes money to the landlord
  • The tenant has made structural changes to the property without taking permission from the property manager

However, the property manager cannot lodge a bond claim against fair wear and tear. Fair wear and tear include damage to the property for consistent usage or changes made due to extreme natural situations.

How to handle a rental bond dispute in Australia?

Rental Bond Dispute in Australia

If the property manager has made valid claims, you will get a partial or no bond refund. However, if you disagree with the bond claim, you can negotiate the new rental bond form with the landlord for dispute resolution.

Still, if both parties cannot come up with a solution, you can contact your state’s Civil and Administrative Tribunal. For instance, contact the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to resolve any tenancy disputes if you live in Queensland. The residential tenancies act is different for each state. Hence, checking your state’s regulations is advisable beforehand.

You can submit your bond claims online and via paper forms. Also, if you are using the paper format, ensure you have entered the relevant information they need to work on the request. This information includes,

  • Correctly and adequately filled bond claim form and other relevant documents
  • Australian bank account details
  • Same signs as present on the previous documents
  • Your photo ID and signature

You may get rental bond refunds within twenty days. The property managers get notified, giving them a chance to contest the claim.

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