When it comes to bonds, many landlords are attempting to claim more than what is deemed to be fair, while tenants are simply choosing to surrender their bond in the hopes of avoiding confrontation.

But that should not be the case. In order to help you navigate your bond claim, Tenant Union of Victoria spokesperson Yaelle Caspi advises tenants to make an application to the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to speed up the process of getting the bond back if the landlord does not make a claim within 10 business days after tenancy ends. In the event that the landlord wants to claim the bond and the tenant does not agree, the former has 10 business days to lodge an application with the tribunal.

Limits should also be set for landlords who are unrealistic and will claim bond money for “fair wear and tear.” Both parties should negotiate on the amount based on depreciation and the proportion of the item that is damaged.

According to Jellis Craig’s Sam Nokes, it is also important to make sure that your removalist is fully insured so that the tenant would not be fully responsible for whatever damage they may cause.

If any repairs are needed, landlords should provide a reasonably priced quote or receipt for a claim. The tenant has the right to engage a tradesman to reinstate the property’s condition. Tenants also have the right to dispute claims at the VCAT.

In the end, Nokes said that prevention is still better than cure. At the beginning of a lease, tenants should make sure that they have thoroughly filled out the condition report and sent it to the agent within three business days. They should also ensure that their agent conducts the inspection within two business days from the end of their tenancy.