Five tips for how to get your security bond back at the end of a lease
12th October, 2017
As a tenant in WA, you are required to pay a security bond when you enter into a lease.
Typically, the bond amount is equivalent to four weeks rent and is there to cover any costs the tenant may be liable for at the end of a tenancy, for example:
Damages to the property
- Outstanding water usage charges
- Unpaid rent
We have put together five tips to give you the best chance of getting your security bond back at the end of your tenancy, ensuring you, your landlord and your property manager are happy.
1. Take note of the Property Conditions Report
When you first move into a rental, your property manager will provide you with an in-going Property Conditions Report (PCR) detailing the condition of the premises, including any existing damaged items. The PCR is a mandatory document and is there to ensure the property is in the same condition at the end of the tenancy as it was at the commencement.
An outgoing PCR will also be prepared at the end of a tenancy. The in-going and outgoing PCR’s will then be compared to determine if there is any damage to the property, and whether you are liable as the tenant.
Don’t discount this report and be sure you go through every item within the checklist to make sure it’s correct, noting down any additional issues or concerns you may pick up, including:
- Blemishes or marks on walls and/or furnishings
- Electrics and plumbing that is not in working order
- Broken or cracked windows, tiles, bricks etc.
If there is any information in the PCR you disagree with, then send the marked document back to your property manager within seven days.
By actively going through the report, you can ensure your bases are covered and you can lessen the chances of a bond dispute at the end of your tenancy.
2. Understand the law
Renting in WA is governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 and the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989. As a tenant, it’s good to have some basic knowledge of these laws and regulations as there are specific provisions you are required to adhere to.
Within these resources, you will find information about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, as well as those of your landlord, plus advice on bond disputes and break leases.
More information about the relevant laws and regulations can be found on the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website.
If you have any queries about your rights and responsibilities, speak to one of our friendly officers in the REIWA Information Service.
3. Communicate with your property manager
Keeping the lines of communication open with your property manager is key. It is particularly important to let them know of any issues or damages to the property, to ensure it is addressed sooner rather than later at the end of your lease where a costly bill could be issued to rectify it.
It’s also important you check with your property manager before performing any DIY on the property or bringing home a pet. A formal request can then be made to the landlord and you can obtain their go ahead. Otherwise, if any unapproved changes are made to the property, the cost to rectify it may be claimed from the bond.
If you are adopting a pet, the landlord may request an additional pet bond to cover any fumigation costs at the end of the lease.
4. Get the house in order before you move out
If your tenancy is coming to an end and you are preparing to move out, be sure to speak to your property manager so they can arrange the necessary paperwork and outgoing inspection.
You will be required to return the property back to the condition it was in when you first leased it (taking into account fair wear and tear) and ensure the space is clean. Failure to do so may mean a portion of your bond is claimed to return the property back to the condition described in your in-going PCR.
Aside from cleaning the rental and moving out your belongings, you may be required to:
- Professionally clean the carpets
- Patch up any holes where you have hung artwork/pictures/shelving
- Deep clean kitchen appliances
- Tidy the garden area
This is where the PCR will come in handy, so be sure to run through the report to help you get the property back in order.
5. Tie up any loose ends
Be sure all property, such as keys, garage remotes, etc. are returned to the property manager, along with your forwarding address and up-to-date contact details. This will ensure your property manager knows how to contact you regarding the bond or the outgoing inspection report, and where to forward any monies.
For more information about rental bonds, visit the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety websiteor speak with your REIWA property manager.
27 September 2017
Author: Rachel Preston-Bidwell