For a seamless bond refund process, it is best to be reminded of the following hints and tips when dealing with tenants moving in and out of your property.

Have a written agreement

In order to achieve a fast bond process, it pays to have a written agreement on how the bond should be paid. Everyone whose name is listed on the agreement must sign the form and the refunds will be paid into Australian bank accounts. Be mindful of the rules regarding ending a tenancy as well the required notice periods. Make sure that the correct notice forms are used as the other party is entitled to a compensation when the wrong form is used.

Inform the tenants of any bond claim

About half of the disputes lodged at the RTA is related to bond refunds. And most of these disputes are about parties disputing a claim as part of the Notice of Claim process. The advantage of informing the tenant upfront about any bond claim would save it from turning into a dispute or a tribunal hearing.

Make sure the bond refund form is filled out accurately

When filling out the bond refund form, check all information and make sure that they are accurate. Contact and bank details should be correct and up to date.  In order to avoid delays in the processing, complete all relevant fields. The tenant’s forwarding address should also be indicated in the form. It should be completed prior to the end of the tenancy agreement.

The property should be in top condition, less fair wear and tear

It is stated in the RTRA Act 2008 that it is the responsibility of the tenants to leave the property in the same condition, minus fair wear and tear. An entry condition report must be thoroughly completed, including photos of the property at the start of the tenancy to serve as groundwork for both parties.

The exit condition report would then be compared with the entry condition report where any presence of damage and deterioration would be noted. If the property does not meet the requirements, it’s important that you communicate this with the tenant and lay out the next steps.

Claim only what you’re entitled to

In cases where there is a claim to be made, only take what you are entitled to. The remaining undisputed amount should be given to the tenant.

Keep lines of communication open

Vacating processes vary in different agencies. No matter what process your agency is following, what is important is that you keep an open communication with your tenant before they vacate and after the inspection to ensure that you are both on the same plane and to avoid misunderstandings.