Once a new construction has been completed, the 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. This include detailed reports to ensure that requisite codes are met and expectations upheld. So that when the owner opts to rent out their property, they can maintain that assurance with the help of a rental bond or security bond.
It is money paid by the tenant at the start of a tenancy agreement. It is used as financial protection for the lessor in case the tenant breaches the term of agreement. Sometimes referred to by other names such as a security deposit, linen deposit, key (or security card) deposit or pet bond. It is money paid as protection over the property and its inclusions that is not rent. It is paid in addition to rent or rent in advance. Most lessors/agents take bond money as security for the premises.
Generally, it is 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. Even the renters are protected with the rental bonds, because 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. Like 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 the tenants’ moving out.
A 1990 ruling of the United States Supreme Court provides that a deposit differs from an advance payment because the depositing party has dominion over the funds and retains the right to insist upon repayment in cash. On the other hand, the party making an advance payment retains no right to insist upon the return of the funds as long as the recipient fulfills the contractual agreement.
It is paid back to the tenant at the end of the tenancy provided no money is owed to the landlord/owner for rent, damages or other costs. 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. There are also times that the landlords will require an additional deposit to lessors with pets, depending on the size and breed. This offers additional security in the event the pet should cause damage to the property. However, if tenants, their guests, or even 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.
Sometimes, it is not enough that you leave the property in good condition, most homeowners will require that the home should be reasonably cleaned upon move-out. Discrepancy of expectations between owner and tenant is one of the leading causes of dispute regarding the return of the bond. “It should be reasonable!” Even if the property is damage free, it is 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. Everything should be reasonably clean. Cabinets and refrigerators should be cleaned of any remnants and debris should be taken from the home. If the home has carpets, it should be shampooed if there are visible stains or any unsavory pet odors.
Any small repairs should be taken care of prior to move-out, as some landlords charge a premium to have their contractors do the work. Try to follow these simple tips and you can reasonably expect to get your security deposit refund in full if you really have taken care, cleaned and respect the property.
Most renters can expect to get the rental bond refund as fast as a week’s time of their departure, especially if there will be no dispute on either end of the contract. Make sure you keep your acknowledgement of bond receipt in a safe place as you will need this to claim your bond back.
Source: realtytimes.com, rta.qld.gov.au, Wikipedia, illinois-attorney.com
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