One of the greatest annoyances about the whole renting thing, aside from the whole renting thing generally, is getting your bond back after you move out – which is as close to winning as renting gets.
No matter how flush you are, moving is an expensive business and securing a new place means paying the new bond before getting your old one back. And thus for a lot of renters that money is the difference between eating meals and doing weeks on two minute noodles.
And in theory it’s a pretty straightforward process: you leave, you clean the place and your landlord does a final inspection before giving your state bond body authority to release your money back to you.
In practice… well…
A quick and completely unscientific survey established that landlords will not necessarily see things the same way.
I lost part of a rental bond for dirt in the oven door, but it was in-between the two fused pieces of glass that make up the door so… not really sure how I could have cleaned it? Still stings years later.
I’ve lost parts of bond before for stupid things I was too tired from the ordeal of moving to fight, like $50 to replace a dead rose bush.
I lost part of a bond once for a broken rangehood. I’d done a tae kwon do class and was demonstrating how high I could kick and kicked it off it’s sliding thingy and broke it. It was fair.
I lost a small portion for, I kid you not, “cobwebs” with no evidence that the property manager even inspected it in a timeframe whereby spiders could not have produced them and no pictures to prove it to me.
I’ve spent hundreds of dollars fixing things that were broken when we moved in because “it doesn’t say it’s broken on the initial inspection sheet”. Now when I move into a new place I list every-fucking-thing that’s dirty, broken, not working, not cleaned properly, or just sitting there. Even down to blown light bulbs.
So now you know that they’ll hold out for, what’s the answer? Know your rights, be ready to exercise them, and don’t back down. Many landlords will cough up the bond if it saves them a tribunal visit, especially if they know they don’t have a leg to stand on.
Also, this is the best tip we’ve ever heard:
I strongly insinuated that I was a lawyer the time before last. It worked brilliantly.
So yeah, maybe invest in a wig?