When it comes time to move out of a rental property, one thing which often makes even the most well behaved tenant nervous is getting back the rental bond. Naturally you would like to get as much back as possible, especially if you had to invest in a rental bond loan in the first place.
1. Document your rental thoroughly when you move in.
Moving into a new place is exciting — but don’t let the excitement conceal existing flaws when you fill out the condition report. In order to protect both your bond and yourself, you’ll need to note any marks, spots, scratches, and other flaws that exist when you move in.
Tip: Take photos and video to prove the condition of the property before you moved in.
2. Understand “fair wear and tear,” and fix anything that isn’t.
If you do not leave the property in good condition, compared to how it was when you moved in, your landlord can make a claim against your bond for the cost of repairs. The exception is “fair wear and tear,” which is the normal deterioration that occurs despite reasonable levels of care and maintenance. You do not need to worry about fair wear and tear — but you should fix any problems that do not fall under this category.
Tip: Scuffed up floors and traffic marks on the carpet are considered fair wear and tear for which you are not liable. Burn marks and stains on the carpet are considered damage which you are liable for repairing.
3. Plan your clean-up and do it thoroughly.
Too many tenants leave cleaning until the last minute. Unfortunately this tends to result in an overall poor cleaning performance or you may end up missing major flaws. Carefully work through each room, cleaning your carpets and floors, bathrooms, kitchens, as well as dirty appliances. If there are minor repairs, you will need to take care of them — this includes those red wine stains on the carpet!
Tip: Don’t leave the clean-up until the last minute. Do each room at a time and thoroughly!
4. Do the final inspection with the landlord or agent.
Before you hand over the keys, contact the landlord or agent and arrange a final inspection — together. Go over the property with them and see if there is any damage or areas in need of cleaning. It’s quite possible you’ll be able to deal with minor issues on the spot.
Tip: never sign off on a blank Claim for Refund of Bond Money.
Take a pro-active approach to the final inspection and you’ll be in the best position for a full refund.