Moving out is a big task. You want to be sure you’ll get your full rental bond back too. Our property management experts have put together this quick guide for the best way to position yourself to have all your bond returned.
Check your lease
Read your lease carefully as they often include details about the end of a tenancy, such as returning all the keys.
‘That’s one that can be overlooked,’ says Simone Fogarty, Senior Property Manager at One Agency Orange. ‘If the property is being managed by an agency, they’ll have a photo of the keys they gave you so make sure you have all of them ready to hand over on the final day of your tenancy or you’ll be charged for having more cut.’
The lease will also state what bills are your responsibility to pay so check those are all up to date, including your rent.
Use the condition report as your guide
This report makes a great checklist for going through the property to ensure everything is as it was when you moved in.
Tips for getting organised
- It’s going to take longer than you think. Even those small tasks that seem like they will only take a minute rarely do. ‘There are lots of small tasks when you move that will quickly add up to hours,’ advises Simone. ‘There are also lots of 10 or 15-minute spaces in the day when you can complete a small task. Pacing the process like is doing yourself a great favour come moving day.’
- Start the cleaning and maintenance as soon as you know you’re moving out.
Check the property for maintenance tasks and complete any that are your responsibility. Minor repairs often need a few days between stages or involve shopping for supplies so give yourself plenty of time for them.
‘It’s a lot to be doing in a weekend if you move all your possessions and also need to do all the cleaning at the same time’, says Simone. ‘By completing the harder tasks like cleaning the oven and window tracks and scrubbing the bathroom well before the day you move out, you’ll only need to do a light clean of those things on your final day.’
If you use a professional cleaner, make sure they specialise in vacate (or end of tenancy) cleaning and will give you a guarantee to go back and fix any cleaning they’ve agreed to do that doesn’t pass the final inspection.
- Pack up and clean the room you use the least and use it for storing packed boxes.
‘You’d be surprised how little you miss the contents of some of your kitchen cupboards for a couple of weeks,’ says Simone.
‘Get them packed up early then wipe out each cupboard as it’s emptied. Dedicate the first empty and clean cupboard for the essentials you’ll need before moving day and pack everything else into boxes.’
- Leave enough time for a thorough end of lease clean after you move your possessions out.
‘The cleaning that happens when the property is empty needs to be thorough and that takes time so don’t leave it for the last thing on moving day,’ says Simone.
What is considered fair wear and tear?
The condition report should contain a detailed description of the property’s condition when you moved in. Apart from “fair wear and tear” the tenant is responsible for handing it back in this same condition when they move out.
Fair wear and tear is damage or deterioration that’s out of your control such as sun damage on curtains or worn carpet in a heavy traffic area and is the owner’s responsibility. The tenant is responsible for damage they’ve caused such as from accidents, pets, putting up pictures or unauthorised repairs.
If you’re in NSW, see the NSW Fair Trading/Ending a Tenancy page for more information and examples of fair wear and tear.
How to deal with any damage
Tenants must notify the landlord or property manager of any maintenance issues as they arise. If you’ve missed any that are the owner’s responsibility to fix, get in touch with the landlord or property manager right away to let them know about this issue.
If there is damage that is your responsibility to fix, be up front with the property manager and discuss your options for paying for the cost of the repairs and getting them done before you leave.
Attend the final inspection
Tenants are entitled by law to be given the opportunity to attend the final inspection where the updated condition report is written up. Being there means you can discuss its details with the property manager before it is finalised.
How to apply for a rental bond return
Most of the time, the property manager will organise for your bond to be returned to you once you’ve signed a bond claim form, they’ve inspected the property and they’ve processed the end of your tenancy.
Need to find a new rental?
Check out One Agency Orange’s range of rental properties or come and meet the team in person at our office in Summer Street. We’re Orange’s friendliest and most energetic agency. Our service is all about making your real estate experience as stress-free as possible.