Getting your rental bond back in Victoria

Your lease is up and you've decided to move on to a new house. One of the things we tend to worry about is receiving our bond back.
A Bond is a security deposit paid to the landlord or agent at the beginning of the tenancy and may be used at the end of the lease to recover a sum of money for damages or unpaid rent. When you pay a rental bond you and the landlord or agent must sign a completed Bond Lodgement form from the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority. The landlord or agent must also give you a copy of the form, which you should keep as a record.
If the landlord or agent believes they should keep the bond they need to apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal within 10 business days of the lease ending. The tenant can also apply to the tribunal if they they believe they should have their bond returned either partly or in full.
Always make sure your previous landlord or agent has a forwarding address to send any claims, otherwise you may be unaware of any claims and the landlord may be granted the bond in full.

TIPS FOR GETTING YOUR BOND BACK

  • Take date stamped photos of any damage that the previous tenants have caused and make sure these are listed in your entry condition report. This is best done either before or on the day you move in.

  • Take photos of water meter readings on the day you move in.

  • Keep a folder on your computer desktop for anything related to your tenancy that has been sent via email. This makes for easy access for references to your tenancy. It may be a good idea to keep a backup on the cloud or an external hard drive. Also keep a 'real life' folder of entry condition report and forms you receive in hard copy.

  • Keep the house and property in good condition during the time of your tenancy. Treat the property as if it were your own.

  • Immediately advise the landlord of any damage you have caused and check they don't require you to use one of their own tradesmen for repair and insurances purposes (for larger items such as windows). Then repair immediately, making sure to keep receipts and any manuals etc.

  • Check what you need to do at the end of your tenancy (this information should be on your tenancy agreement) to receive your bond back. This may include, carpet cleaning, pest control and professional 'bond cleaners'.

  • When cleaning at the end of your tenancy, don't forget to clean items such as the oven, curtains and blinds, ceiling fans and the kids dirty hand prints from the walls.

WHAT CAN A LANDLORD CLAIM BOND FOR?

  • The tenant has left and owes rent (rent in arrears)
  • Tenant or resident or their visitors have damaged the property
  • There are cleaning or repair expenses that exceed normal wear and tear
  • The tenant or resident has abandoned the premises
  • The tenant or resident has left you to pay bills they should have paid
  • Items that were part of the tenancy agreement are missing.