How to get your rental bond back

Before we get into how to get your bond back, let’s do a quick recap on what is a rental bond.

A rental bond is a one off payment paid by a tenant to the landlord or agent at the start of a tenancy and acts as a form of financial protection in case there’s a breach of the lease agreement. It’s paid in addition to rent or rent in advance. It normally consists of 4 – 6 weeks rent and is usually paid when the lease agreement is signed. When the property manager receives the bond payment, it’s sent to the local Bond Authority and held in a trust account for the period of the tenancy.

At the end of the tenancy agreement, the property manager will inspect the property and assess its condition against the original condition report. In some cases, the property manager may make a claim against the bond, or in other words they believe that you owe money.

How to get your bond back

A good guide to work from to ensure you get a full bond refund is ensuring all rental payments & invoices are made and are up to date (check your “rent paid to” date) Also review the condition report you signed when you moved in – the property should be returned in the same or better condition than when you moved in, excluding fair wear and tear. If you are unsure, talk to your Landlord or Property Manager.

The simplest action to make sure your landlord is satisfied at the final inspection is to keep things clean and well-maintained from the beginning. It’s easy when you start a tenancy to put cleaning on the back burner, safe in the knowledge that you’ll have time for it later.

Keeping a clean household, whether you’re living alone, with family or in shared accommodation, only becomes more difficult when you neglect it. If things get out of hand, you can bring in professional cleaning help. The costs of household services however – which have risen almost 2 per cent in the last year – can add up, leaving you opening your wallet just to try and get money back. We buy houses Grand Prairie.

Follow your tenancy agreement

For better or worse, everything required of you is laid out in your tenancy agreement, the legal document you signed at the beginning of your stay. Before scheduling your final inspection, carefully go through your agreement, checking off your obligations.

In some cases there will be conditions that differ between tenancies, so make sure to read everything carefully, following the agreement to the letter. Your opinion on whether your carpets need steam-cleaning is irrelevant – if you agreed to it, it’s your responsibility to pay for this and you must follow through.

Fair wear and tear

The good news is you are not responsible for what is called fair wear and tear, which according to Fair Trading, means the normal deterioration of a property from ordinary, everyday use. Exposure to the elements, time and day to day living can cause fair wear and tear. Although real estate tenancy laws vary across each state and territory, the industry broadly accepts this definition.

What to do if you disagree with the bond claim

If you receive a Notice of Claim from the Bond Authority, this means your property manager or Landlord has lodged a claim against your bond. If you disagree with the claim, you need to act quickly. Firstly, contact them and find out about their claim and try to negotiate an agreement. If you come to an agreement you can both fill in and sign a new Refund of Rental Bond form to immediately release the bond.

If you disagree with their claim, you should apply to your state or territories Civil and Administrative Tribunal and request a hearing. Keep in mind you need to do this within approximately 7 days of the Notice of Claim being lodged otherwise the bond will be released according to the claim lodged by the other party. The requirements here vary in each state and territory so make sure you check this carefully.

If your landlord or agent has told you they are claiming something from the bond, but have not provided you with the evidence for the claim or you’re not sure what they are claiming, you can ask for a statement itemising all of the landlords claims. You can also ask for all quotations, accounts, receipts and other documents supporting these claims and a copy of the original condition report. It’s also a good idea to ask for a copy of the latest water bill which will often help work out if you owe any money to the landlord.

Refunding the rental bond

Once you have agreed with your landlord or property manager regarding how the rental bond will be refunded, a signed refund form must be submitted to the relevant government office. Typically, bonds are credited by cheque or direct deposit.

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Styling to Sell in Spring

Making the most of the outdoors

It pays to style your home

The spring selling season has arrived with gusto! But how do you give your home the advantage and make it stand out to discerning buyers.

The answer is styling according to a panel of agents. 96% believe it’s a good idea to style a home when selling and 87% believe it can boost the final sales price by up to 10% and can make a big difference to the number of people who are interested in the property and how quickly it sells.

So styling helps. But whilst you do need to look at the whole home we thought we would share with you some tips on how to make the most of your outdoor space – after all spring is here and us Aussies love to be in the great outdoors. We buy houses Daytona Beach.

Create an entrance

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying – “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” – well this statement is certainly true for the front of your home.

This is the first thing people see, so you want to make sure your property looks great from the street. As soon as a buyer arrives you want them to be excited about coming in to take a closer look.

With the garden starting to burst into life, it is certainly the best time of year to make the most of what nature has to offer. So roll up your sleeves and start tidying up the front yard. Make sure your front gate is in good working order. This is the first thing people come into contact with – so check yours out and get it swinging.

Add a fence around your property if you don’t have one. This will allow you to separate your home from the street and will have the added advantage of making your front yard seem bigger – amazing but true.

Clean out your gutters and make sure your roof and windows are clean and free of spider webs. Power-wash your path and keep it swept before any open home inspection.

Spend some time weeding and trimming the garden beds and because it’s spring – add some beautiful spring flowers – just make sure they will still be in bloom when you open your home for inspections.

If you don’t have an established path, consider laying one to help guide your buyers to your front door. Plain white pavers look great against a green lawn but there are many great options to choose from depending on what your budget and taste is like. They will make a big difference to your entrance.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a front yard you can make an impact by adding window planters, some clean shutters, good lighting and clearly visible house numbers.

Making the most of the outdoors

As you know us Aussies love being outside. To have a garden or courtyard where we can entertain friends and family or have a space where the kids can play is really important to many buyers – it’s in effect another room to enjoy and another selling point for your property.

Show your buyers how they could use this space – take advantage of the warmer weather and add a great outside table or refresh the one you have. I’d suggest you set the table with brightly coloured placemats and cutlery and add some flowering plants to the middle. Put up an umbrella and some colourful cushions and the space will look great!

Another tip is to have a think about what your neighbourhood is known for. Are you near a beach – perhaps you could add a great outdoor shower. Do you live in a grassy suburb – a hammock might help create the right feel, or is it a family friendly suburb – maybe a sandpit or a swing in a tree would do the trick.

Creating different zones in your garden works well, as it does inside the home, it helps create interest. By zones we mean, an area for eating or entertaining, an area of mixed planting, perhaps with a focal point such as a fountain or feature plant. Or if you have the space, adding an area for kids to play can be really enticing for the family buyers.

Many homes today, particularly in the inner city don’t have large gardens. Often there is a small courtyard, so it’s important to maximize this space.

The first step may be to create a focal point like a water feature, statue or urn. This should be placed at the furthest point from the entrance so your buyer’s vision is drawn to a distance, giving a sense of space. You can also give an illusion of space by paving the entire area with large pavers to make the ground look wider and less busy. Don’t use any dark colors in your courtyard structures as these reduce the perception of space.

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