As a 19-year-old university student it was my first time on my own. Despite no damages and leaving the place as clean as it was before we moved in, I initially did not receive a cent of the bond with no explanation as to why.
I spent three months in a limbo of back-and-forth communication with the real estate agency, waiting to receive my bond back.
Finally after contacting the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA), who chased the matter on my behalf, I received part of my bond back with the real estate agency claiming an amount was deducted for ‘cleaning fees’ that where never mentioned in the final inspection report.
Mine is not a singular case, but a normal occurrence among students and young people nation-wide.
According to survey data collected by Finder.com.au, over 30% of all renters in Australia won’t get all of their bond back.
This number is even higher for young Australians where it was discovered that this will happen to approximately 43% of generation z (Under 25’s). Students from The University of Queensland, Erin, Sarah, and Tom, have stories of their own to share about receiving unfair treatment from real estate agencies.
Caption: A breakdown of the reasons why bonds are withheld from tenants. Source: https://www.finder.com.au/30-of-aussie-tenants-dont-get-their-rental-bond-back
Tom Ryder (20) who studies a Bachelor of IT and Business was charged his full bond for ‘general repairs’ when leaving student living accommodation.
Ryder said this was to “compensate themselves for pest removal because the entire floor I was on was infested with cockroaches and they were purposefully not specific about repairs.
I called the RTA for advice and then talked to three residents in similar fights with the building, and we all emailed the manager with a list of policies and laws they weren't following,” he said.
“The situation sucked. It was really a David and Goliath sort of thing, I was a freshly 18-year-old idiot and there was this huge business with six buildings saying they had to keep my $1000 for something that wasn't my fault; it was their lack of upkeep. Really scummy practices. I was trying to move to a new house and also study during this.” - Tom Ryder
Ryder managed to receive his full bond back after threatening legal action and having the RTA call the company for their release of bond forms.