Can overpaid rent be used if the bond is not sufficient?
If rent is paid past the vacate date can it be refunded?
We recently had concerns of cleanliness and damage to the property during the tenancy. The Property Manager anticipated that the bond held would not suffice.
The overpaid rent was held until the outgoing inspection was completed. Quotes were obtained to repair the damage and ensure the property, garden and pool were in an acceptable standard.
The tenant would then be refunded any portion of the overpaid rent not needed to add to the bond.
This action is in accordance with Section 43 of the NT Residential Tenancies Act:
Section 43 Repayment of rent paid in advance
(1) If rent is paid in advance and the tenancy is terminated before the end of the period for which rent has been paid, the landlord must, as soon as reasonably possible, refund to the tenant the appropriate proportion of the amount paid as rent in advance.
Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to rent, or a part of rent, paid in advance that may be applied towards other liabilities of the tenant to the landlord in accordance with this Act.
(3) The Tribunal may, on the application of the tenant, order the landlord to refund to the tenant the proportion of the amount paid as rent in advance (not being money for which the tenant is liable under this Act to pay to the landlord as rent or otherwise) that the Tribunal thinks fit.
Following the outgoing inspection, funds were required for cleaning including blinds, garden, pool and replacement of a vanity cupboard that was damaged by excessive water. Unfortunately in this case, the bond was exhausted and the overpaid rent was still not sufficient to cover the full costs. The tenant entered into a payment plan to pay off the remainder of the costs to return the property to an acceptable standard.
While the tenant was of course not happy with the situation, responsibility was accepted. Good references were still maintained.
The Property Manager maintained her professionalism despite the pressures of trying to please both the owner and the tenant and achieved the successful outcome for all.
Absolute Real Estate is proud of our reputation for good service and standards. We communicate and have empathy for all parties to achieve the best result.