Generally speaking, moving into a new home is far more exciting than leaving the old one. And with rental properties, an added layer of stress can often be added by the need to get your bond back.
The amount of money that landlords require to have lodged as part of a rental bond at the beginning of a tenancy has risen along with house prices over time. So what do you need to know to get your bond repaid in full when you hand the keys back to your landlord?
A Legal Obligation
The first thing to understand is that the requirement to leave your rental property in good condition when you leave is more than just good form, it is part of the law. The rule is that a tenant must leave their property in a “reasonably” clean state.
A reasonable clean state would likely be held to include removing rubbish, vacuuming the floor, cleaning the bench tops, and leaving the bathrooms in good working order. More expensive steps like steam cleaning or pressure cleaning the outside of the home are much less likely to be required.
On the flip side of the coin, landlords are required to accept “fair” or “reasonable” wear and tear to the property, fixtures, and fittings that arose during the time you lived there.
Use Your Words…
When you are moving into a new place, the sheer number of things that need to be done from unpacking to getting your internet connected can mean that other things get overlooked.
It is common to find that the whirlwind of moving house means that many tenants leave their condition report partially filled or even completely untouched. This is particularly common in share house situations when housemates assume someone else has taken care of the paperwork.
A condition report is a simple, free and relatively quick way to get your bond back. It is basically an inventory of the property, with comments about the general state of the things inside it. Anything from chips in paint to damaged door handles should be noted in it.
… And Some Pictures
Once you have completed your condition report, be sure to keep a copy and if possible, have it signed by the landlord to confirm its contents.
With everyone now carrying a high quality camera on the back of their phones, taking some photos to accompany the report is also a good idea.
The Simple Math
If all of this seems like a lot of work, you may be right. But think of what it would mean to simply forfeit your hard earned cash.
Even if you spend 4 hours painstakingly documenting every bump and blemish in your rental property when you move in, for a $1000 bond, that would still work out to $250 an hour for your time.
Not a bad investment when you think about it, particularly as you can put that money toward your new home.