How to Get Your Bond Back in 6 Steps
We’duld never be need to relo in a perfect worldcate, but in the actual world, tenants often change residences once every 4.5 years on average.
Moving all of our belongings from one area to another is an ordeal that most of us would rather not go through because of the amount of time, stress, and financial pressure involved in the process.
Renters have an additional source of anxiety in the form of security deposits.
To put it another way, in order to receive their security deposit back, tenants are required by the Tenants Union of Victoria to vacate the rental property in “a fairly clean condition.”
It is a statement that will mean something different to various people, but a good rule of thumb is to leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in, with the exception of some minor wear and tear. This is a statement that will signify something different to various individuals. This is a remark that cause stress later will imply something completely different. If you ask ten different people what they think this comment means, you will get ten different answers. This is a remark that can imply anything at all.
Now, here is what you need to do to ensure that you always get the entire amount of your bond returned.
Examine your home in light of the condition report you have.
As soon as you have made the decision to relocate, you should immediately begin considering the state of the property. Avoid putting things off till the very end since doing so will only lead to tension in the long run.
The good news is that the house will have the standard degree of wear and tear when each renter vacates it, which means that it does not need a brand new appearance.
The amount of “wear and tear” that can be deducted from your security deposit is directly proportional to the length of time you’ve lived in the home and its state when you first moved in.
Candice Deane, senior property manager at Belle Real Estate, recommends to renters that they utilize their condition report as a point of reference in order to have a more accurate image of what they are required to do when they quit the home.
Your condition report has to include a list of any problems that were present in the property when you moved in. It should also incorporate photographs, as this will go a long way toward assisting you in putting in the necessary amount of effort throughout the thorough cleaning that is required.
Report problems as soon as they appear.
Have you pierced a hole in the wall or broken a towel rail by accident? Instead of waiting until the end of the term, you should immediately inform the property management about the situation.
If the damage goes beyond what would be considered normal wear and tear, you will still be responsible for paying for its repair. Take care of the problem at the time it arises. However, you won’t have to worry about having to wait to get your security deposit back at the end of your lease while the property manager hires tradespeople to repair the damage. If the problem goes beyond what would be considered normal wear and tear, you will still be responsible for paying for its repair.
Tenants often change residences once every 4.5 years on average. To receive their security deposit back, tenants are required by the Tenants Union of Victoria to vacate the rental property in “a fairly clean condition” The good news is that the house will have the standard degree of wear and tear when each renter vacates it. Have you pierced a hole in the wall or broken a towel rail by accident? Instead of waiting until the end of your lease, you should immediately inform the property management. If the damage goes beyond what would be considered normal wear and tear, you will still be responsible for paying for its repair.
Normal wear and tear
Homes are, by definition, the kinds of spaces that are supposed to be occupied by people. As a result, it is only normal for them to experience wear and tear as a consequence of housing people.
The following are some examples of things that landlords and property managers might anticipate finding in a home that has been occupied and loved by a family for a number of years.
- Paint that is brittle chipped, and flaking
- Damaged floor covering
- Carpet or window coverings that have faded.
- Loose grout in the damp regions of the floor
- If the pipes are ancient, there may be issues with clogged drains.
- Walls of an older property exhibit cracking as a result of the natural movement of the building.
On the other side, if the damage caused by a tenant who didn’t take care of the house is left unrepaired, it is common practice for the landlord to deduct money from the security deposit to pay for the necessary repairs. These could be some examples:
- Unauthorized alterations were made.
- Walls, floors, and surfaces with stains or burns in them.
- Broken windows
- Broken or chipped sinks, toilets, and baths
Deane offers the following piece of advice: “Always be forthright if you damage something throughout the lease.”
If anything comes up during the routine inspections, you should discuss it and make any necessary repairs at that time. Don’t put it off until after you’ve moved out; doing so will create a delay in the return of your security deposit, which you should have as soon as possible. Please get in touch with us if you break something, and we will put you in touch with a handyman who can help you fix it. You will get your security deposit returned at the conclusion of the lease if everything is in pristine condition.
Get a checklist from your property management as soon as possible.
Also, according to Deane, renters need to acquire a checklist from their property management in order to know exactly what they are required to do when they depart the premises when they move out.
According to Deane, all will go well if the tenants “mark off every single thing on the checklist in terms of cleaning.” This would ensure that they receive their entire security deposit back.
“Leaving a property messier than it was when they moved in, if the property doesn’t line up to the inspection report, and if there is any deterioration to the property that we do not consider to be regular wear and tear, like holes, etc., will prohibit them from getting their whole bond returned.”
Conduct a pre-vacate inspection before you leave.
It’s possible that an agent will have a totally different understanding of what you mean when you say “good condition.”
Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to have the property management evaluate the home before you depart it to advise you on the areas that you will need to rectify to get your entire bond returned.
When that time comes, we will conduct a thorough inspection of the property to determine the state in which the renters have left it and the items for which we need to be ready before the tenant vacates the premises. After that, if we have any issues about the state of the property, we may bring them up with the renter, as Deane explains.
Employ a qualified and experienced cleaner.
Hiring a cleaner will indeed cost you some money; however, this is money that you will probably end up having to spend regardless if the property manager has a problem with any of the areas of the property that you have cleaned on your own.
Carpets often need to be steam cleaned, which can only be done by a professional cleaner and is a requirement for many rental homes. In addition, the work of professional cleaners is often guaranteed, which enables real estate agents to go back to the cleaners in the event that they are dissatisfied with the service.
You have the choice to employ a cleaner of your own choosing, or you may choose a cleaner that the agency suggests. This normally makes the method easier to complete due to the fact that the cleaner is familiar with the standard that is anticipated and demanded by the agency.
According to Deane, you may save a large amount of money on the expense of the cleaning if you start by giving the home a fast clean yourself.
“If the renters move their belongings out and do a fast once over when our cleaner is in, it may cost as much as $200 just to go over the top and steam clean the carpets,” she adds. “This is simply to go over the top and clean the carpets.”
However, if a tenant moves out and leaves the property in an unsanitary condition, the cost of cleaning might be as high as almost $600. And this is only for a two-bedroom apartment, which includes the walls, power points, flooring, windows, blinds, complete kitchen, and complete bathroom. If we hired a professional cleaner to handle it, it would cost us $80 just to have them clean the stove.
Complete payment of the rent for the previous month is due.
Many tenants are under the impression that their last month’s rent would be subtracted from their security deposit; nevertheless, your security deposit is a different problem from your rent.
You shouldn’t withhold rent merely because you have a hunch that you could have trouble collecting your security deposit back in the future. If you do this, you face the danger of getting blacklisted on a tenancy database, which would make it extremely difficult for you to find another rental in the future.
In addition, certain states consider it a violation of the law if you fail to pay your rent when it is due.
How to prevent being banned as a renter
The vast majority of tenants are aware that if they do significant damage to their rental property or fail to pay the rent, their situation will not turn out well.
Did you know that if you violate the conditions of your lease in any way, shape, or form, you run the risk of being added to a nationwide database that future landlords can search whenever they choose?
That’s right: landlords have the option to put your name on a “blacklist,” which might have a negative influence on your chances of being accepted for rental homes in the future.
What does being placed on a blacklist mean?
If you are blacklisted, it means that landlords have access to a database containing information about your past renting history and your personal information.
This category is intended for major violations of the lease agreement, such as, but not limited to, rent that has not been paid and malicious damage to property.
Tenant databases are managed by private firms, who gather data about tenants and sell or otherwise provide such data to landlords in exchange for a fee. Additionally, the vast majority of real estate brokers subscribe to at least one of these databases.
The National Tenancy Database is the most extensive database that includes both tenants and public records (NTD).
The NTD is a database that stores fundamental tenant information, such as public record and tenant history files. It is used for both residential and commercial premises. For example, when evaluating a potential tenant’s rental application, landlords consult the NTD to determine how trustworthy the applicant is likely to be.
How long will I be blacklisted?
After being placed on a blacklist, a tenant’s information can be kept in a database for up to three years before it has to be erased.
However, you have the right to contest the reference at any time if you believe the information to be incorrect or if there has been a significant change in the circumstances.
For instance, if a person is blacklisted for failing to pay their rent, the blacklist has to be updated to indicate that the renter has paid off the obligation after the rent has been paid in full.
How can I find out if I’ve been blacklisted?
Before approving your application for a tenancy, a property manager will check to determine if you are already included in a database that is used for tenant screening. If they discover that you are on a blacklist, they are obligated to let you know within seven days and give you information on which agent listed you and why that agent did so. If they discover that you are on a blacklist, they are obligated to let you know.
After that point, you will have the ability to request that the agent who listed you divulge the information that is kept on you within the database. This may be done by contacting the agent who originally listed you. They are responsible for giving this information to you free of charge within 14 days, and they are required to fulfil that commitment.
You also have the choice to get in touch with the databases on your own to learn whether your name has been removed from the restricted list. On the other hand, the vast majority of companies will want money from you before providing you with this information.
How do I get off the database?
Renters should take precautions to avoid getting placed on a blacklist in the first place; but if they already are, there are a few things they may do to rectify the problem.
You need to start by resolving any problems that have arisen, such as catching up on any past due bills.
After the problem has been resolved, you are able to write to the real estate agent or landlord and request that they delete the listing. They are obligated to inform the database, and the database will take action within 14 days of receiving the request.
In the event that no modifications are made to the listing or in the event that you perceive the initial listing to be unconstitutional, you have the option of asking your state tribunal to evaluate the issue.
You are strongly discouraged from making direct contact with the database provider at this time.
As a renter, what else should I know?
According to a department manager at Ray White Southbank named Persa Kapsali, it’s not just landlords that file complaints with the NDT; energy companies may also put bad clients on a blacklist.
“I’ve run into several tenants who haven’t paid their phone bills in months and months, and it’s been driving me crazy. Additionally, if you are unable to pay your phone bill, you will have a difficult time paying your rent.
On the other hand, circumstances have to be rather dire before a third party will lodge a complaint. The amount that you owe a landlord, whether in unpaid rent or damages, must be greater than the value of your security deposit.
Imagine that your landlord or utility supplier intends to add your information to one of the databases that track tenancy. In such a situation, they must provide you with notification in writing or make a good faith effort to contact you before taking that action.
After you have received a letter of intent, Kapsali says there are a few things you can take to prevent your name from being put to the database. You may contact her at [email protected] for more information.
She mentions that if a potential landlord tells you that you’ve been blacklisted, you can take actions to remove or amend the listing by paying the amount that you owe. This is something that you can do if the potential landlord tells you that you’ve been banned. You can take action by paying the money that is owed to you, which is one of the measures you can take. She reassures them that even in the case that a potential landlord informs them that they have been blacklisted, they still have the choice to pay the amount that they owe even though they are on the blacklist.
You have the right to have your name removed from the database if the amount that you owe is paid in full within three months of the date that it was due, provided that the day on which it was due has passed. However, this holds true only in the event that the money you owe was paid in a timely manner. Your listing will be marked as “inaccurate” if it takes you more than three months to pay what you owe, but even if this occurs, it will not be entirely erased from the database. If this occurs, however, it will be marked as “out of date.”
As a landlord, why should I use the database?
A NTD tenant check will set you back $13.98 as of the year 2016.
When it comes to having piece of mind, Kapsali believes that it is a little price to pay, particularly in situations where one is unsure about a possible renter.
She thinks that an NTD tenant check is worthwhile since it costs only $14 and because “at the end of the day, your home is your investment.”
It would be wonderful if everyone made advantage of it. It would be wonderful if all of these entities could coordinate their efforts to safeguard landlords.
According to Kapsali, a large number of the renters included in the database are repeat offenders, but the vast majority of tenants behave appropriately.
We are responsible for the management of around 2300 homes in Melbourne’s inner north, and we may file one or two complaints each year.
How to make it through a rent increase
The increase in rent is bad news that no renter likes to hear, but unfortunately, it’s the truth.
With a healthy dose of realism and some careful preparation, however, it is feasible to weather the storm of an increase in rent, despite the fact that no one likes to spend more money than is really required.
Belinda White, proprietor of The Fierce Girl’s Guide to Finance, which she describes as a “financial literacy resource for smart women,” suggests that it is prudent to make preparations for the possibility of an increase in rent.
According to her, “Rental increases are governed by laws in each state, and the frequency with which they may be enforced and how much they can be imposed vary by state, so you as a renter have certain safeguards.”” Since these laws are in place, tenants are afforded some level of security. “Rental hikes are controlled by regulations in each state” due to the fact that these rules differ from one state to the next.
However, it is prudent to operate under the assumption that annual or biannual rent hikes are an unavoidable aspect of life. Then, if you don’t receive one, then enjoy your freedom!” According to White.
According to her, prospective tenants shouldn’t pick a rental home that pushes them to their financial breaking point before taking into account the possibility of future rent increases.
“The more of a safety net you create for yourself with fixed bills like rent, the easier it will be for you to sleep at night.”
White suggests that making regular contributions to a savings account is another method to help cushion the shock.
“An emergency fund is always a good idea to have for anything that life throws at you; ideally, at least three months’ living expenditures,” which would cover rent, bills, and groceries. “It is always a good idea to have an emergency fund for anything that life throws at you.” She argues that having even a month’s worth of money is preferable to having none at all and can help you get out of a jam without resorting to using expensive credit cards.
Keeping a tight check on the other expenditures of renting, such as insurance, internet, and energy bills, is another strategy that may be utilized to reduce the impact of rent increases.
“If you shop about or negotiate with your existing supplier after a year or two, you may frequently find a better bargain than the one you have now. White encourages the listener to “not be scared to talk them down.”
A hike in rent is likely to lead many renters to look for other housing, but you shouldn’t make any hasty decisions.
Don’t be hesitant to bargain for better terms! It might be just as frustrating to relocate, but it can also be frustrating for a landlord to look for a new renter. “She advises that you investigate the local market and see if you can persuade them to pay a price that is acceptable.
“If the deal is already sealed, you may as well do the math. Is the yearly cost comparable to that of a removalist? What about the strain on your mind? In the end, it will come down to the question of whether or not you can afford the additional stress and the additional rent, according to White.
According to White, renting might also serve as a “practice run” for a life spent paying a mortgage.
“Renting is the time to build healthy habits that will set you up for success in the future, so take advantage of this opportunity.” First, discover a method of managing your finances that is suitable for you, be it an app, a spreadsheet, or a lovely notebook. “I suggest that you keep track of your expenditures and check for any potential leaks.”
White suggests using the free budgeting program TrackMySpend, which the United States Federal Government offers.
“It can definitely help one to see things from different angles! You should make an effort to save money in addition to the sum required for the rent in order to cover unforeseen costs and to achieve long-term goals such as putting a down payment on a property.
In the long term, homeownership may bring the peace of mind that comes with ‘having your own patch,’ adds White. “Renting has its rewards, but homeownership may provide you peace of mind.” “Renting has its benefits, but buying a home may provide you the security of ‘having your own patch.'”