A solid strategy to make sure you get your bond back
When moving house, as a tenant one of your primary concerns is of course going to be whether you can get your entire bond returned. We’ve offered some tips to help you get as much back as possible. There are proactive steps that you can take during your tenancy and right before it ends, to ensure you meet the required standard for final property inspections.
Check your photos
Before you draw up your cleaning and tweaking strategy, check the photos that you took before you moved in. You may notice carpet stains, marks on walls and wear and tear that has gone unnoticed over time. Make a list of issues that you need to address.
Avoid carpet cleaning rentals
Most leases do not require you to clean your carpets at the end of your tenancy. However, if you have stains on your carpets you may want to tidy them to protect your bond. Carpet cleaners that you can rent from supermarkets have seen an awful lot of dirt and grime day-to-day. Often they are not cleaned and maintained upon their return which means that they can do more damage than good when you get them home. In fact, they can sometimes deposit more dirt than they take out and also seal stains into fabrics. Opt instead to hire a professional service. If that sounds too pricey look for new customers specials and offers on websites like Groupon or Grab One.
Be careful with boxes and furniture
Some of the worst damage to walls and staircases is done when moving in and out. If you feel like you have to DIY to save some dollars, then make sure you have enough helpers to safely move things in and out of the house. It is also best to dismantle bulky things like dining room tables so they don’t scrape doorways on their way out. If you can afford it, book professional movers and purchase moving insurance to protect precious items and electronics.
Leave it as you found it
If you have made changes such as painting walls or adding wallpaper things need to be brought back to their original state unless you have explicit permission from the owner or your property manager. Replace any burned out light bulbs or you could be charged. A nice touch is to leave a roll of toilet paper for the next tenant.
What about walls?
There is an old trick that suggests tenants should cover up nail holes by filling them with white toothpaste so owners won’t see flaws on walls. Please don’t! It is much better to just go ahead and purchase putty and paint to cover holes the right way. Remove any adhesive hooks too.
Don’t leave bits behind
You may not be attached to something and want to leave it behind but that is where you can rack up some serious bills. You can be charged for the removal of things like furniture or rubbish - a cost that will come out of your bond. If an item is still in good shape then consider donating it. If it’s junk, bulky, and can’t be recycled - book in a removal company.
Clean and clean again
The best thing you can do of course to get your bond back is a super deep clean once all of your belongings are gone. Calling in a professional service is a great idea and you can get bids on flat rate cleaning so you don’t have to worry about hourly charges. Again, websites such as Groupon and Grab One often have deals for these sort of services.
Check those drains
If your drains or toilets clog due to regular use and you have already reported it, you should not get penalised on your bond. However, if clogging is caused by a foreign object such as a toy your child flushed or you dropped jewelry down a drain then you need to sort a repair and pay for it yourself before you move out.
Get the list and check it twice
Ask for a copy of the checklist from your property manager to ensure you know every nook and cranny they will be evaluating. Use the list to do your own pre-inspection and note anything you need to remedy before your move.