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Two-thirds of WA tenants part with some or all of rental bond

By Juliet Helmke
29 March 2022 | 11 minute read
Trish Blake reb

Very few West Australian tenants are receiving a full return of their bond at the end of their lease, according to data from the state’s Consumer Protection agency.

Trish Blake, Western Australia’s executive director for consumer protection, reports that just 34.6 per cent of tenants received all of their bond money back in 2021. About 12.7 per cent of tenants lost all their bond, while 52.5 per cent lost part of it.

Ms Blake reported that the agency had received a number of complaints about bond returns taking too long, as well as disagreements between tenants and landlords over the property condition report upon vacancy.

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She used the release of these figures to remind tenants, landlords and industry professionals that landlords are only able to charge a tenant for the actual costs incurred for cleaning and fixing damage, not a pre-estimated cost.

In the instance of disputes over what costs a tenant is liable for, Ms Blake said the property condition report (PCR) is used to determine whether the residence is in the same condition as when the tenant moved in.

“For this reason, it is in a tenant’s best interests to ensure the PCR is accurate at the start of the tenancy and for both parties to make sure the report is completed and signed,” she said.

“Given all bond money is required to be lodged with the bond administrator, tenants should know that landlords have no right to keep any amount paid as a security bond, unless agreed by the tenant or stipulated in a court order,” she added.

Western Australian tenants who are in dispute with their landlord over the return of their bond can make use of the state’s free conciliation service. Either party can also make an application for orders to the Magistrates Court of Western Australia if the disagreement cannot be resolved.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Juliet Helmke

Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.

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