One third of all Victorian renters are not getting their bond back in full, and few exercise their right to lodge an appeal.
Over 90 per cent of applications to the residential tenancies division of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal – excluding those from the director of housing – are from landlords rather than tenants, the tribunal’s annual report reveals.
In the past financial year, 3931 tenants or residents lodged an application with VCAT, compared to 38,794 made by landlords represented by estate agents or property managers. A further 2537 were submitted by private landlords.
The highest proportion of cases are brought by landlords who claim the bond because their tenant was said to have not paid their rent, or have damaged the property, or both.
Landlords are also likely to bring a case when claiming rent arrears and want to take possession of the property.
These are the most common causes for 37.1 per cent of Victorian renters having part of their bond deducted in the 2014-15 financial year, according to data from the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority. It includes 10.5 per cent who lost the entire sum.
©2015 Sam Nokes, head of property management at Jellis Craig’s Armadale and Richmond offices.