Landlords4 May, 2022

What can a landlord claim against your house bond in Australia?

What can a landlord claim against your house bond in Australia?
What can a landlord claim against your house bond in Australia?

As most people know, in Australia, houses are very popular properties to rent. With high prices in cities like Sydney and Melbourne, many people have no choice but to rent. This also means that hefty rental bonds have to be paid to secure home rentals. Unfortunately, some people have felt the wrath of exactly what a rental bond was put in place to do – secure the property and protect the landlord. Often, this is due to the tenants not understanding exactly what can come out of a house bond.

What is the primary purpose of a house rental bond?

The bond is usually calculated based on the weekly rental cost of the house or maybe a completely different amount altogether based on additional factors such as pets. In NSW, a rental bond cannot exceed 4 weeks’ rent in value.

A house rental bond is a form of financial protection for the landlord/owner in the case of any breach of the lease agreement. A breach of the lease agreement incurs costs which the tenant becomes liable for at the end of the tenancy agreement. This may include unpaid rent, outstanding utility charges and damages to the property.

While it’s clear to see what outstanding utility charges and unpaid rent are as well as why they would be deducted from the bond upon the termination of the tenancy, damages to the property are unclear. Many people aren’t aware of what causes them to lose their rent. This can then lead to massive financial surprises at the end of a tenancy. Trust us, you don’t want to be the tenant who expects their full rental bond back, and is hit with huge and unexpected deductions.

How do you prevent surprise deductions from your rental bond?

In this article, we’ll outline major causes of deductions from house rental bonds, however, it may not constitute everything. Here are our tips for getting your full rental bond back:

  • Treat the property with care to minimise damage
  • Read your tenancy agreement thoroughly to ensure that you aren’t unknowingly breaching a clause that can lead to a deduction from your rental bond
  • Know what the common causes of deductions are (listed in this article)
  • Stay on top of your rental and utility payments!
Common causes of rentals bond deductions

Unclean houses

Though many tenancy agreements have included that the house must be professionally cleaned before vacating it, many people seem to neglect this. Dirty houses are one of the easiest ways for landlords to deduct money from their rental bonds. Here are a few common occurrences that may constitute an “unclean” home:

  • Scuffed walls
  • Stained carpets
  • Dirty stovetops
  • Stained countertops
  • Chipped wood in any timber furnishing
  • Punctured walls from hanging mirrors and picture frames
  • Showers with scum
  • Dirty appliances (e.g. microwave, fridge, washing machine etc.)
Replacement of furnishings and security devices

Did you leave a light blown or a remote without a functioning battery? Are your security locks broken? While it may seem minor, these can cost you hefty deductions from your rental bond. Landlords have a habit of taking out a lot more than just the cost of these replacements.

Fix these issues while you can, because though it may seem cheap to repair, a lot more than what you think will come out of your rental bond. Landlords may charge service fees, battery costs and more to increase the deduction.

Missed rental payments and utility bills

This one is obvious, however, we think it’s worth mentioning because many people fall victim to it. Before you transfer your home to the landlord or rental agency, ensure that all of your bills, including your gas, electricity, internet and water bill are taken care of and have received sufficient notice that you won’t be living at those premises anymore. Of course, you should also make all of your rent payments (it will come out from your bond anyway).

Damages (not including wear and tear

Don’t make the mistake of leaving a broken window, faulty lock, chipped baseboard or anything else for your landlord to find. Like the replacements of furnishings, these items will cause you to get major deductions from your rental bonds.

It’s worth noting, however, that this does not include the natural wear and tear of the home. This may include:

  • Scuffed up wooden floors
  • Faded, chipped or cracked paint
  • Worn kitchen benchtop
  • Cracks in the wall
  • Water or mould stains from plumbing leaks or rain

At ZeroBonds, we want nothing more than for you to have an enjoyable and positive renting experience. While we try to do our part by covering your rental bond, it’s up to you to protect yourself by treating your property right and reading through your tenancy agreement thoroughly.