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What is the Bond and how does it work?
Tenants are required to pay a Tenants Security Bond in order to protect the owner in the event of damage or unpaid rent.
If, at the end of your lease, there is damage to the property or you are behind in some rent payments then the owner will claim that money from the Bond.
The Bond is paid at a rate of four times the weekly rent e.g. a home renting for $450 per week will require a bond of $1,800.
The Bond is not kept by the owner or the real estate agency, but deposited with a central Bond Administrator through the State Government Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. There it is protected until the end of your lease.
Once tenant and owner have agreed to the lease ending and the property is returned to the owner in the same state and condition (with the exception of fair wear and tear) outlined in the initial Property Condition Report, a Bond Statement will be drafted.
A Joint Application for Disposal of Security Bond form is then signed to allow the Bond to be released from the Bond Administrator.
Where there might be an unresolved dispute between tenant and owner over unpaid rent or damage, the Bond is held by the Bond Administrator until the matter is settled in the Magistrates Court.
How long should it take to have the Bond returned?
Once the Form 4 Application for Disposal of Security Bond has been signed, no further deductions may be made from the Bond.
The document is then lodged with the Bond Administrator who would then be able to refund the security bond to the tenant within seven to 10 days. The Application Form permits bank details to be entered so that an electronic transfer can be made.
It should be noted, however, that it can often take more than 10 days for the Bond Administrator to refund the money. If the Bond refund is being unreasonably delayed, tenants should contact the
Department of Commerce
directly to raise concerns.
How much pet bond can be charged?
The Residential Tenancies Act allows a further $260 to be collected in Bond if the tenant is permitted to keep a pet or pets on the premises that are capable of carrying parasites that can affect humans.
The Pet Bond can only be applied to the cost of any fumigation of the premises that may be required at the termination of the tenancy.
Most often this would apply to cats and dogs but is not confined to these animals alone.
If the fumigation cost exceeds $260 then the tenant would be responsible for any excess. Pet Bond can only be charged once, irrespective of the number of pets being allowed.
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