How Do I Get My Bond Money Back?
10 Simple Tips for Getting All of Your Bond Money Back and a Glowing Rental Reference
Packing up your rental property and moving can be daunting! Not only is it daunting to put your entire life belongings into boxes but also leaving the property in the same condition as when you moved in. Your bond is a large sum of money and the prospect of not getting it all back can be scary. Contrary to what you may have heard, getting your bond back is quite easy. As long as you have followed the correct procedures and taken good care of the property, then you should be fine.
The top reasons that tenants don’t get their bond back are for, rent arrears, damage caused by the tenant and cleaning or lack thereof.
If you haven’t cared about the property as you should have or left it in an unclean manner your landlord can keep a portion, or the total, of your rent bond payment. There are ways you can avoid this from happening! Below is ten steps which will guide you through how you can ensure that you get a full bond refund, stress-free.
1. Check your original condition report
Before applying for a full bond fund, check your initial condition report from the beginning of the tenancy. If you do not have a copy on file, your property manager will be able to provide you with a copy. This will allow you to assess the condition of the house when you signed your lease to compare to when you’re vacating. The property manager will use this same report to determine if you will get a full bond refund.
2. Remember Accidents Happen – Be Honest
Be honest with yourself about what is damage in the home and what is deemed as fair wear and tear. What a separate list of all items which are damaged or broken and arrange a professional to fix these items.
3. Communicate with your Property Manager
If there is an item which you are unsure how to fix, for example, a stain in the carpet – talk to your property manager and they will be advised how you can go about fixing it before the final inspection. Being honest with your property manager will keep the process running smoothly. Remember, if you attempt to fix the repairs yourself and the repairs are not up to standard, you may see yourself paying, even more, to have them fixed again.
4. Remember your obligations as a tenant
It is a requirement under the Tenancy Act that you provide the correct notice to vacate the property you are renting, and this even applies to the end of a fixed lease agreement. If you break the lease or fail to provide adequate notice to your property manager or landlord, then you will find yourself paying the costs as a result. This will usually come from your bond. You may have outstanding bills, such as water payments and this too will be deducted from your bond. You must ensure that your bills are paid before vacating the property.
5. Hire the professionals
One of the essential parts of getting your bond back is ensuring you leave the property clean. Your lease agreement will require you to have professional steam clean the carpets, and if you have pets, then you will have to have the property professional fumigated. If the property has an extensive garden, it may also be worth hiring gardeners and even window cleaners to get the property back into shape as it was when you moved in.
The cleaning work can be done yourself. With a bit of elbow grease and some good cleaning products, you should be able to bring the property back up to scratch. Make note what areas need more attention based on the original ingoing condition report. Remember to get into the areas you don’t clean as often these will be spots like under the fridge, above the door frames and window trimmings etc. The dishwasher, if provided, and oven need to be clean. It can also be worth cleaning out the vents of air conditioners and heaters as these are also expected to be clean. Your property manager will be able to provide you with a comprehensive cleaning checklist - this will also be the one they use to check if the property is back to the original standard.
7. Vacate the property by the required date
It is quite common for tenants not to vacate the property by the required date. Make sure you do as if you do overstay this will incur extra rental costs.
Some tenants believe they can leave things behind, such as rubbish or furniture that they no longer need - if this happens the tenant may be given the opportunity to go back and remove the items however if they don't then they will be billed for the cleaning and removal which will be deducted from the bond.
8. Return all keys including ones you've had cut and household items
When you have vacated, you will be expected to provide all of the keys you were initially given and any other items (such as garage remote controls and doorbell functionalities) by an agreed upon time. Failure to do this may incur the cost of not only replacing those keys or items but often replacing the locks. Missing keys may be a sign that you have kept one and the house may be seen as insecure. If you have had keys cut without the property manager knowing, be upfront about this and return those keys. On the other hand, if you've lost keys then be honest with your property manager regarding this,
9. Attend the final inspection in person or be willing to return to the property to complete last minute cleaning items
When your property manager completes the final inspection, we recommend going along as well. Take with you some cleaning items, so if there are items which your property manager identifies as not being up to standard, you can resolve these issues right away. Alternatively, your property manager may give you the opportunity to return to the property and attend to these items.
10. Understand the bond refund process
It is essential that you understand the bond return process. As when you moved into the property and signed a bond form, you will need now need to sign a bond claim form. You will need to include financial details for where the bond should be returned to and your contact details. Without these, getting your bond returned can be tricky. If your property manager and yourself are unable to agree on the bond refund amount you will be required to submit evidence that backs up your dispute and justifies why you should be entitled to the return of the bond. Your property manager will do the same to ensure that before contesting the bond refund you have sufficient evidence to back your claim.