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Get Your Bond or Deposit Back When You Leave a Rental Home

You can maximise the likelihood of getting your bond back when you move out by doing some forward planning before you move in.


Before you move in

You can maximise the likelihood of getting your bond back when you move out by doing some forward planning before you move in. Complete the condition report if you have one, noting absolutely every single dirty or broken thing in the house, and email yourself and the landlord clear photos of each of these. Whatever isn’t noted on the condition report will become your responsibility, regardless of whether you broke or dirtied it. If you don’t get a condition report, it is even more important to send those photos. Keep a receipt of any money you have paid including a bond or deposit.

During your stay

It is important to keep your landlord or agent informed about any repairs that are required during your stay. Email (written) your landlord about any repairs. The NSW Tenant’s Union has a factsheet (link below) outlining your rights and responsibilities around repairs. You are allowed “fair wear and tear” so don’t be scared to report things.

When you move out

You need to leave the home in the same condition, minus fair wear and tear, as when you moved in. You will not be considered as having moved out, until the landlord gets the keys back. When the landlord inspects the property, they may note damage, that was not in the incoming condition report, or cleaning that you will be responsible for paying for.

A tenant must pay the rent up to and including the day their termination notice period ends and they vacate the property.
If a tenant does not owe the landlord money at the end of their tenancy and there is no damage to the property, the bond paid at the beginning of the tenancy should be refunded in full.
If the landlord or agent believes the tenant owes money, they can make a claim against the bond.

Here are some of the main reasons that at landlord may make a claim against the tenant’s bond.  

  • unpaid rent
  • reasonable cost of repairing damage to the property that is beyond fair wear and tear
  • unpaid water usage charges, as long as the landlord requested payment within three months of receiving the bill
  • any ‘break fee’ or other charges payable as a result of the tenant breaking the tenancy agreement early
  • reasonable cost of cleaning any part of the property not left reasonably clean, considering how clean the property was at the start of the tenancy, and
  • reasonable cost of having the locks changed, or other security devices replaced, if the tenant doesn’t return all keys and security devices they were given.

This is not a complete list. For a full list and more details, head to the fact sheets below.

If you believe you have not been treated fairly, contact an SRC Caseworker to find out what your options are.

Tenants Union Factsheet about bond

NSW Fair Trading Factsheet about bond

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