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DEPOSIT REFUNDS - Possible Delays and Frustrations

DEPOSIT REFUNDS - Possible Delays and Frustrations

27 February 2020


Possible Delays and Frustrations

When it comes to the management of rental properties, there is one thing that often causes disputes between the agent and the Tenant, and that is how a Tenant’s deposit is handled, what is due to be refunded at the end of the lease period, and what constitutes a failure to refund the said deposit.

We understand the frustration that comes with a deposit refund and the agent/agency always does their best to expedite the refund as we know that you, the Tenant, need the money.

Delays in reconciling your deposit are based on the following:

  • A delay in receiving the final utility charges from the body corporate and or municipalities;
  • Damages caused in the premises while the tenant was in occupation of the unit;
  • Final signoff from the Landlord.

Damages caused by the tenant are established based on your incoming and outgoing inspections that are then compared against each other.

Most agents are more than willing to engage in constructive conversation with you, to meet with you, and you have the right to question the charges and discuss anything in the interpretation of the damage reports.


The agent acts on behalf of the Landlord, who has the right to the re-instatement of the premises to the condition that you found it when you moved in.

In terms of the law, the landlord can hold your deposit until all the costs have been established and the repairs have been completed and all the service charges are established, for example:

  • electricity is charged 1-2 in arrears by the Body Corporate, so technically the owner has until that time to settle your deposit.


As agents, our job is to mediate the deposit refund ensuring that both the TENANT’s and LANDLORD’s rights are not compromised.

Please always try and meet with your agent to resolve the matter, going to social media will not resolve the matter.