Business Telegraph

.
Find a Tradie
.

8 Ways to Protect Your Rental Bond in Australia

  • Written by Telegraph Magazine

Moving to a new rental property can be expensive, not to mention that it's not uncommon for tenants to pay the next rental bond before getting their old one back.

You can take several steps before and during your tenancy to avoid losing your old deposit.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about it and ensure a smooth renting experience!

Check Your Landlord or Rental Agency

You must investigate and verify the reputation of your landlord or rental agency before leasing an apartment. 

You can look up information on the web or ask previous tenants for suggestions.

It is also imperative that your landlord or renting agency is registered with your state's rental bond authority. This safeguards your bond and guarantees that it is securely held in place.

Insist on an Inventory

Your landlord should provide you with an inventory report of the property, including any items or appliances provided. It's essential to check that list, amend it if needed, and after that, just sign and return it.

Ideally, this should be done before you move in and in the presence of your landlord or agent. If your landlord doesn't provide you with an inventory, make your own and try to get it signed off immediately.

Your inventory should note not just what's provided but the condition it's in. Make sure to note any existing damage before you move in.

A thorough list can help prevent disputes with your landlord over who is responsible for any damage caused during your tenancy. It can also serve as evidence in the event of any disputes over the return of your bond.

Take Pictures

Taking pictures of everything when you move in, including outdoor or communal areas, is key to protecting your rental bond.

Your photographs will serve as evidence in the case of any disputes and also remind you what the property looked like when you moved in.

Document any present damage or wear and tear (for example, to the flooring), and send the photos to your landlord or agent. This can help prevent trouble and ensure that any issues are promptly resolved.

When examining your future home, look for any signs of damage or wear and tear that might have been concealed, such as newly painted walls or furniture positioned to conceal marks on the floor or walls.

If you observe anything suspicious, request an explanation from the landlord or agent.

Keep the Property Clean and Maintained

As per house cleaning statistics, staying on top of cleaning and maintenance during your tenancy is much easier than doing it all in a rush at the last moment.

Keep the property clean and promptly report any maintenance issues to your landlord or agent. This can help prevent further damage and ensure the property is well-maintained.

It's also important to note that any damage caused by your own negligence, such as failing to report a leak, may result in your bond being withheld to cover repair costs.

Invite the Landlord or Agent for Inspection

Inviting your landlord or agent for an inspection a few weeks before your move can help you identify any faults that need to be corrected.

This will give you time to make necessary repairs or thoroughly clean the property before moving out. Some things can be hard to spot with your belongings in place, so it's better to catch them early.

Make sure to record any repairs or maintenance work you have carried out, as this can help you in case of any disputes over the return of your bond.

Leave the Property Clean

The quality of your end-of-tenancy cleaning will be essential to returning your bond.

Make sure to properly clean the property, including any outdoor or communal areas, and to remove litter and personal belongings. Pay particular attention to the bathroom and the kitchen, as those are the two main areas of the property that landlords check the most.

If you don't have the opportunity to do it yourself, think about hiring an end of lease cleaning company. Check to see if the cleaning business assures you that if your landlord is dissatisfied with the cleaning, they will come back to do it again for free.

Ensure that the landlord's inspection occurs within the stated timeframe but after the cleaning.

Know Your Rights

You have certain legal rights as a rentee in Australia.

One is having your deposit filed with your state's rental bond authority. This safeguards your funds and guarantees that the deposit is kept safely.

It's also critical to understand your responsibilities, such as paying rent on time, reporting any upkeep issues, and leaving the property in good condition.

If you disagree with your landlord or agent about the return of your bond, you can seek help from your state's renting bond authority or a community legal centre.

Maintaining records of all communications with your landlord or agent, including emails and text messages, is critical in case of a dispute. Keep everything neat and organised to have everything at your fingertips when needed.

Seek Legal Assistance

If you have any questions about the property's present state or the conditions of your agreement, you should confer with a licensed expert. 

A property inspector can give you a detailed report on the property's condition and pinpoint any issues that must be addressed before you move out.

Alternatively, a tenancy lawyer can review your lease with you and ensure you comprehend your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. While this will incur extra costs, it will provide you with peace of mind and may save you money in the long run.

Keep in mind that a qualified lawyer can answer many questions and help draft any complaints you may have so that your case is as strong as it can be.

Conclusion

Protecting your rental bond in Australia is essential to ensure you get it back at the end of your tenancy.

Following these tips can reduce the chances of losing your bond and ensure that your tenancy is a positive experience.

In the end, you will have peace of mind knowing that your deposit is protected.