My ex-landlord hasn't returned my bond, what can I do?
Question from Tash updated on 19th June 2008:
Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:
A tenant is obliged to leave the property reasonably clean and reasonably tidy. They may be held responsible for any damage they or their guests carelessly or intentionally caused the property. A tenant is not responsible for fair wear and tear. Your landlord may be able to claim the costs of stain removal and curtain replacement from the bond, if this work is needed due to your careless or intentional actions. There is no time-frame that a landlord has to agree to a bond refund.
If you are not able to get a signed Bond Refund form within a time-frame you are satisfied with, then you can submit a ‘One Party Claim’. A One Party Claim is where you complete the Bond Refund form and send it to the Department of Building and Housing without the landlord’s signature. The Department will write to your landlord about the bond refund, and give them 15 working days to respond. If your landlord agrees with the information on the Bond Refund form, it will be processed. If your landlord disagrees with the information on the form then the bond will be placed in dispute and you will be advised of your options.
Please ensure you provide sufficient contact details and an address for service on the Bond Refund form. If your landlord does not respond at all, the Department will be able to process the refund after the 15 working day period expires. If you and your landlord can’t agree on the amount of money each of you should receive from the bond, or if you submit a One Party Claim and your landlord disputes your claim, then you may need to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for help. You can call the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262) for advice and information about making a Tenancy Tribunal application.
The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.