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  • Written by NewsServices.com

All your bags are packed and you’re ready to go. Your cleaning has been completed and you cannot wait to settle in your next home. But wait, what will now happen with your bond?

Over our almost 70 years of experience in the real estate Property Management in WA, and as Professional Property Management in Perth, we often see some common reasons why renters have not received their full bond back.

Property Managers act as an interface between the owners and tenants and often communicate the wishes of the owners to the tenants in regards to their property. Generally, an owner usually would desire to have their property returned to them in its original condition after consideration of fair wear and tear. And Property Managers would also desire this as it would make their jobs much more straightforward and pleasant.

Often the dispute arises when the expectation is either not clearly stated or the property is not returned in its original condition (less fair wear and tear). But how do you determine what is its original condition? What is fair wear and tear? What isn’t? Who decides on what fair and tear is? Is there grounds to appeal?

Let us walk you through some basics of rental bonds.

What is a bond?

A bond is an amount of money collected by the owner of the property and held throughout the tenancy until the tenant vacates. It is then used for any cleaning that may be required and/or rectification of damages that occur during the tenancy.

Who specifies the amount of the bond?

The amount of bond is specified by the Residential Tenancies Act.

How much bond is required?

It is currently set at 4 weeks rent.

Where is the bond lodged at?

The bond has to be lodged with the Bond Administrator which is a government department. It cannot be released without the agreement of both parties – owner/agent and tenant.

How long does it take to get a bond back?

This depends on how the property is left, compared to the property condition report given at the commencement of the tenancy. It could be as little as a week if everything is left clean and as per Property Condition Report (PCR). Or it could take as long as 4-6 weeks if there are damages and cleaning to be completed.

What is a PCR and what should I do with it?

At the commencement of your tenancy you will receive the Property Condition Report (PCR) which details the actual condition of the property in detail. It is recommended that you thoroughly check this, making any changes that you think necessary. The signed Property Condition Report must be returned within 7 days of receiving the keys to the property.

Is it hard to get bond back?

The property needs to be handed back in the same condition as the PCR given at commencement of tenancy taking into account fair wear and tear. As a renter, if anything has been damaged during your tenancy, it would be good to replace it or fix it before you vacate. Ensure that the entire property is clean.

The easiest way to get your bond back is if you review the PCR and make sure everything is the same as when you rented the property less fair, wear and tear.

What if there is damage to the property or a required maintenance?

Write to your Property Manager and be a proactive tenant. Always keep the lines of communication open, informing the PMs as soon as you notice any damage or maintenance required. The last thing PMs want is a case where a maintenance issue or damage which has not been reported promptly, ends up being the responsibility of the tenant upon vacation.

What are some commonly overlooked areas which then result in a bond deduction?

Some common areas often overlooked include:

  • * Gardens: have they been weeded and maintained well?

  • * Walls: are there patches which were not there before? Did you secure permission before hanging anything on the wall?

  • * Stains on benchtops or carpets

  • * Scratches on cabinets and doors

  • * Pet damages to the property (there is a separate pet bond required generally)

  • * Good cleaning but not professionally done (especially if there are carpets). Just get it professionally cleaned as there are areas that the normal person would typically miss out.

Are there any other interim reports along the way?

We send a regular Inspection Checklist for you to Follow Up and Follow Through. A detailed cleaning checklist with the notice of quarterly inspections is also sent. Use this throughout the tenancy to help minimise the amount of work required upon your vacation of the premises.

Please see our guide on how to prepare for inspections as well as what to expect during inspections:

https://www.timeconti.com.au/blog/renting/guide-how-to-prepare-for-inspections

https://www.timeconti.com.au/blog/renting/property-inspections-what-to-expect

What is a Final Vacate Checklist?


Our letter confirming your intent to vacate will include a Final Vacate Checklist, which helps guide you through the Final inspection. The Property Manager will also refer to the ingoing PCR as the required standard, so appropriate this to ensure that the property is returned in the same condition, given a fair amount of wear and tear.

What happens to any outstanding utility bills?

If all rents and any ancillary bills for water and electricity/gas are paid on time and up to the vacation date, this will assist in lessening any deductions from the bond.

What to do if you don’t get your bond back?

If you don’t agree with the owner/agent, then you can always apply to court for a magistrate to decide on bond deductions.

How do I dispute a bond?

You could dispute a bond through the courts. All you have to do is to go to the Magistrates Court in the area the property is located for example, Perth, Midland, Armadale, Joondalup, Fremantle or Rockingham and complete an online application for a court hearing – Form 12. You will then have an opportunity to present your case in relation to bond deductions.

What should I bring to the court hearing?

A quick checklist of some important documents includes:

  • * Tenancy agreement

  • * Receipt for the bond with the amount paid

  • * Evidence of the condition of the property with photographic support

  • * A copy of the initial PCR and the final PCR

  • * Evidence that you have paid all the outstanding bills and rent

  • * Email evidence of communication with your Property Manager

In most cases, getting your bond back is fairly straightforward if the property is returned in its original condition minus fair and tear, decided by the standard of what the court determines as a “reasonable man”.

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