Only one-third of WA tenants get their whole bond back

Little more than 30 per cent of Western Australian tenants received their entire bond back at the end of their tenancy, new data shows.

Figures from the state’s Bond Administration Branch at Consumer Protection showed 12.7 per cent of tenants lost all of their bond in 2021, while 52.5 per cent farewelled part of it.

Only 34.6 per cent of tenants had all of their bond returned.

Executive Director for Consumer Protection Trish Blake said the agency had received complaints about bond money taking too long to be returned, about disagreements regarding the property condition report (PCR) and the property not being cleaned properly at the end of the tenancy.

“When it comes to cleaning and fixing damage, landlords are only able to charge a tenant for the actual costs incurred, not a pre-estimated cost” she said.

“If tenants and landlords can’t agree, the PCR is relied upon to determine what damage, if any, occurred during the tenancy.

“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.”

Ms Blake also recommended tenants take photos when they move in and include them when they return the PCR back to the landlord or agent.

“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 said.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Deputy Editor at Elite Agent.