You're moving out of the property you've been renting. There's damage that you want to contest. What happens to your rental bond? Finance journalist and landlady Michelle Baltazar answers.
'May PERAan' is SBS Filipino's podcast series featuring financial experts seeking to answer the most common questions about money and finances.
"As someone renting, you have to be organised and responsible," finance journalist and landlady Michelle Baltazar shares.
Part of being organised and responsible is being aware of the damage you leave behind in the property you were renting and living up to your end of the contract.
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- Determine if the damage was before you moved in, normal wear and tear or accidental.
- You have to be organised and responsible as someone renting.
- You can't talk with a landlord about a settlement unless you have a relationship with them.
Ask yourself these questions
Did you report the damage after it happened or after you saw it?
"If it happened before you moved in, it’s no fault of yours. They should have fixed it for you."
Michelle shares that you should report damages to the property - no matter how small.
"If you didn’t report it until you’ve started moving out, the damage will be deducted from your bond. It’s on you.
Do you still have the original contract?
This will indicate the condition of the unit when you first moved in.
"If, let’s say, the benchtop in the kitchen sustained damage because its condition was bad in the first place, you can challenge this when it comes to your bond."
Look up the definition of 'wear and tear'
"The New South Wales Fair Trading has a strict definition of ‘fair wear and tear’."
Here are the common wear and tear occurrences that landlords are responsible for and are not covered by home and contents insurance or landlord insurance:
Faded curtains or frayed cords;
Furniture indentations and traffic marks on the carpet;
Scuffed up wooden floors;
Faded, chipped or cracked paint;
Worn kitchen benchtop;
Loose hinges or handles on doors or windows and worn sliding tracks;
Water stains on carpet from rain through leaking roof or bad plumbing;
Paint worn off wall near light switch
What if the damage caused was accidental or was the fault of a former housemate?
"If this was a genuine accident, you can contact your former housemate and get information, put the dates in. It’s a win-win situation because landlord can claim through their insurance. No cost to either of you."
Landlord insurance can cost anywhere from 1300-1500 AUD a year. If landlord can establish a claim, then the tenant can get back the rental bond.
Can you talk with the landlord regarding a settlement?
"If you are going to a real estate agent, there’s no conversation with the landlord.
"I will be brutally honest with you, if there’s damage, someone has to pay. Not unless you have a relationship with the landlord, everything goes through the real estate agent."