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Last revision: 22/12/2023
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This Letter Refusing to Return the Deposit at the End of Tenancy is a document used by Landlords to communicate to Tenants why their security deposit for a rental property cannot be returned. This letter serves as a formal explanation and provides clarity on the reasons behind the decision, which could range from property damage to unpaid rent or other breaches of the tenancy agreement.
The letter outlines key details such as specific reasons for the deposit retention, any evidence supporting this decision (like property inspection reports), the amount being withheld, and references to relevant clauses in the tenancy agreement. It also guides the Tenant on any possible recourse or actions they can take in response to the decision.
How to Use This Document
The Landlord should first check with the relevant regulator in the state or territory where the property is located. In some cases, rental deposits might need to be held by a specific government organisation such as a "Rental Deposit Authority" or a "Rental Bond Board". If this is the case, then there might be a specific procedure which the Landlord needs to follow in order to claim the deposit (such as lodging a claim through that organisation's website).
Once the Letter Refusing to Return the Deposit at the End of Tenancy is completed, the Landlord should send an original signed copy to the Tenant. It is also advisable for the Landlord to retain a copy of the letter for their records. This document provides a written record of the Landlord's communication regarding the deposit, which may be necessary if there are any subsequent disputes or legal proceedings.
The handling of rental deposits, including the conditions under which they can be retained by the Landlord, is governed by state and territory legislation in Australia. The specifics can vary, but typically the laws are designed to protect both the Tenant's rights to a fair return of their deposit and the Landlord's right to withhold the deposit for legitimate reasons outlined in the tenancy agreement.
Landlords and Tenants should familiarise themselves with the laws applicable in the state or territory where the rental property is located. For detailed information, consultation with the local office of consumer affairs, tenants union, tenancy help office, or community legal centre is advisable. These bodies can provide guidance and clarification on the legal framework governing rental deposits and the conditions for their retention or return at the end of tenancy.
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