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Know your Rights with the Bond Money

Know your Rights with the Bond Money
  • Chloe Wilson
  • Mar 12 2018

When you take property for lease and begin a tenancy, you are required to pay a bond. Bonds are primarily a form of insurance taken by the property agents from the tenants to ensure the safety of their property. Tenants usually receive their bond money back at the end of the tenancy, once the property agent has scrutinised the property to make sure it is in the same condition as at the commencement of the lease. To make sure that house is completely clean and ready for inspection, it is advisable to hire professional and reliable end of lease cleaning company in Brisbane for the job. The state of the property is verified against the Property Condition Report (PCR) - a binding document that must be completed at the start of a new tenancy.

The number of leaseholders in Australia has been on the rise since the mid-1990s, but the shortage of properties and high rents has been making it difficult for renters to get accommodation easily. Moreover, the tenants’ lack of knowledge and ignorance of their legal tenancy rights make it further complex. However, the rules for collection, management and refund of rental bonds in Queensland has been summarised in the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act, 2008, which is regulated by RTA-Residencies Tenancies Authority.
The tenants in Brisbane are usually unaware of their bond rights and therefore feel reluctant to impose their rights in fear of any possible retaliation and having to leave the house they have rented. Hence, you must be aware of the important considerations while dealing with tenancy bonds or renting a house.
Here are some of the rights tenants might not know they have with the bond money:

What is The Rental Bond?

The rental bond is the amount of money paid by the tenant to the landlord at the time of signing the tenancy agreement. It is taken as financial protection for the property in the case; the tenant violates the terms of the agreement. It can be anything like causing damage to the property, not following the terms and conditions of the agreement, or if the tenant is unable to pay the rent etc.

This bond is referred to by different names like pet bond, security deposit, key/security card) or linen deposit. However, the defining nature of these bonds is that it is not the part of the rent– It is an addition to the rent that you have to pay in advance.

When is a Bond Taken?

The first thing you must know is that tenancy bonds can be taken by the landlords only after the respective tenant has been given a copy of the tenancy agreement. This agreement must include all the terms and conditions and any rules (parking etc.) so that later there may not be any discrepancy or confusion.

How The Bond Money Gets Refunded?

You don’t have to worry about the refund of the bond money. If you have not damaged the property or have not violated the rules of your tenancy agreement, then your bond money will not go anywhere, and you can claim the full amount. Just make sure if you are living in rented accommodation, and after signing the bond, you don’t breach the rental agreement, pay rent on time and don’t leave the property in Brisbane without information or in middle of the agreement.

For full security, fill another form signed by the tenant and the agent and send it to the RTA and they will assist you in getting your bond money back. The RTA is the Queensland Government constitutional authority that directs the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act, 2008. It grants all the tenancy regarding information.

A tenant must know how the bond money gets refunded and how you can claim it after you have left the rented property. Once the ending tenancy notice expires, the tenant can apply for the bond to be reimbursed as soon as he vacates the property.

However, in another case, if the parties don’t agree- If the landlord doesn’t agree to the terms of refunding the bond money, then you can fill out a Refund of Rental Bond form and lodge it with RTA.This can be done by both the landlord and the tenant if either of the party (landlord or tenant) doesn’t agree to any condition.

RTA will send a Notice of Claim in this case and will reimburse any undisputed amount to you. This Notice of claim grants the time of 14 days to the right person to choose any of the given options:

1. Discussion and dispute over the claim-If a conflict is raised, then a mediator will get in touch with the parties and help them agree. Even after discussion if they don’t reach an agreement, a Notice of unresolved dispute will be issued which will permit the application to the Tribunal for a decision to be made.

2. Agree with the claim- If the landlord agrees to the claim then he will have to refund your bond money without any delay.

3. Take no action- In case no action is being taken RTA will refund the bond as requested.
In case the dispute couldn’t be solved by RTA, then you can go to QCAT- The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal which fixes a range of tenancy disputes. But make sure that before you apply to QCAT, you must have tried to solve the dispute directly and also have gone to RTA for resolving the dispute.

The Landlord Cannot Claim Your Bond Money For Unnecessary or Irrelevant Reasons

At the end of the tenancy, it’s usual for the landlords claiming the bond because of various inappropriate reasons. However, remember that the landlord can claim your money only if there is any damage caused by the tenant, any loss of property or landlord’s goods or if there is unpaid rent. Remember that costs of fixing what is usually called “fair wear and tear” cannot be claimed.

The Exit Condition Report

The exit condition report is an essential part of the bond refund process and has to be completed by the tenant and landlord at the beginning and end of the tenancy. It determines if the there is any damage to the property apart from fair wear and tear. Ideally, the tenant and property agent should complete the report together.

Hence the tenant must be present both in the beginning and the end when the report is prepared; he must check the property himself in the beginning as well as while leaving to see the property’s condition and agree with the landlord’s assessments. In case the tenant is not present at the moment, the landlord can add extra expenses to the report. This is important for deciding how the Rental Bond should be paid out, or whether the landlord is liable for any compensation.

Can a Bond Be Transferred From One Property to Another?

There can be an emergency where the tenant has to change the property to some other place. In this case, only the address will change in the agreement that you have signed the bond money. The amount of the bond and anything else other than the address remains same in case of change of location.

The tenant will just have to fill a” Change of Rental Property form”, in case the new rental bond money is less than the previous one. And when the new bond money is more than the previous one, the tenant will have to submit a Bond lodgement.

Cleaning The Property Properly At The End of The Lease

Make sure that before giving back the property to your landlord you clean it properly. The end of lease cleaning in Brisbane is crucial for tenants as well as landlords who are moving or relocating. When it comes to the end of lease cleaning, estate agents are extremely strict.

You need to be extra careful here because landlords play extra smart by being over critical of the cleaning and even a minor mistake on the part of tenant’s cleaning gives them a chance to claim this money. They are looking for complete perfection, and if they don’t get it, you risk losing your bond money. Hence it’s better to hire professionals for the end of lease cleaning in Brisbane instead of risking your hard-earned money.

What Can You Do To Guarantee The Return Of a Bond?

One of the smartest steps you can take to guarantee the return of your bond money is to get your End of lease cleaning Brisbane from a company like Bond Cleaning. They are professionals and have expertise in the bond cleaning of a house which the guarantees the hundred percent refund of bond money. They will clean each room in your residence and do the proper cleaning. If you are close to the end of your tenancy agreement, contact Bond Cleaning Brisbane now to get back your bond.

Conclusion

Anyone may need to rent a house at any point, and this is a need which is essential for living. Hence being prepared for it and being aware of the rights that you hold as a tenant will make you feel relaxed and help you in not continuously worrying about your bond money. Therefore keep in mind the above rules and your rights as a tenant.

However, if you are facing any problems in getting the refund of your bond money, then you can contact Bond Cleaning in Brisbane. They are professionals who not only will clean your house after the end of tenancy but also will assist you in getting your bond money back.

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