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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Rental Security Deposit return : Getting Bond Back

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 29 March 2016 21:38

 

 

Upon completion of new construction, a property owner may hire professionals to complete a pre sale building inspection and handover inspections to rule-out and address issues with the building or property. These processes include detailed reports to ensure that requisite codes are met and expectations upheld.

 

When that owner opts to rent out their property, they can perpetuate that assurance with the help of a rental bond or security deposit.

 

What is rental bond?

The security deposit, also commonly referred to as a rental bond is intended to protect the landlord from excessive and unforeseen damage caused by the tenant(s). Generally the cost of a month's rent, this deposit serves to protect the landlord from footing the bill on damage done during tenancy, and can also protect against unpaid rent or violation of lease terms. Renters are also protected with rental bonds, as the landlord is required to invest the money using a tenancy deposit protection scheme, an organization that insures the funds during the duration of the tenancy and provides recourse for the landlord or renter in the event of a dispute regarding the return of the rental bond. Similar to the pre-building and handover process, it is important for a renter to complete an initial inspection and take note and photos of any existing concerns or damages for use when it is time for the final walk through after move-out.

 

Do you get bond money back?

Ideally, you have taken care of the landlord’s investment and will leave your tenancy with nothing more than typical wear or tear to include minor stains, scuffs, scratches and dents to the paint and walls, flooring, and appliances. In that event, the landlord would have no grounds for retaining your rental bond. Oftentimes, landlords will require an additional deposit with pets, depending on the size and breed. This offers additional security in the event the pet should cause damage. However, if tenants, their guests, or their pets have caused excessive damages to the property, the landlord can submit the requisite paperwork to withhold a portion or all of the rental bond. Disputes between tenant and landlord can be submitted through alternate dispute resolution in most cases, but make sure to read your rental contract thoroughly to know your rights.

 

Even if you have left the property in good condition, most homeowners will cite a requirement in their lease that the home should be reasonably cleaned upon move-out. One of the leading causes of dispute regarding the return of rental bond exists in the discrepancy of expectations between owner and tenant as it pertains to “reasonable”. Even if the property is damage free, it's recommended to research the possibility of a professional cleaning service to weigh whether it is worth the peace of mind of having to pursue any dispute. Cabinets and refrigerators should be cleaned of any remnants, debris should be taken from the home, and carpets should be shampooed if there are visible stains or any unsavory pet odors.

 

Small repairs should be taken care of prior to move-out, as some landlords charge a premium to have their contractors do the work. Follow these simple tips and you can reasonably expect to get your security deposit refund in full if you have taken care to clean and respect the property.

 

If a full refund is due, and there is no dispute on either end of the contract, most renters can expect to see a rental bond refund within a week of their departure.

 

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Sarah Smith

Sarah works with many real estate business owner to upskill their current license to further their employment prospects. 

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