So time has come to move out of your rented property. Few things are more stressful than moving. One of them is having to fight teeth and claws about your deposit, as your landlord attempts a final jab at your finances for their own merit.
The following points out the most important point of making sure your bond is protected and how to get as much of it back as possible.
Check the tenancy agreement first
When it comes to renting, one document ascends above all other – the tenancy agreement.
The tenancy agreement which you signed with your landlord will regulate the fine details of your relationship. It will include information about how the tenancy should be properly ended, how your deposit must be returned and what extracurricular responsibilities you might have as a tenant.
For example, depending on your tenancy agreement, you may be responsible for:
- Booking an end of lease cleaning service before you move
- Cutting the grass or doing garden maintenance
- Repainting the rooms, if you were previously allowed to redecorate
- Rearranging the furniture to the original layout
Whatever you do in regards to your landlord, the tenancy agreement is the first thing you should check.
Check the inventories
The difference between the check in and check out inventory reports will provide the base against which your landlord will claim deductions from your bond.
Upon entering your final month as a tenant in your property, you need to carefully examine the move in report and make sure the property you leave behind is nothing less than what you received.
Of course, minor scratches here and there can pass off as wear and tear, but to alleviate potential problems, we advise that you do your best to mask them before leaving. For wooden surfaces and furniture, you can rub an almond into the scratches and they should color in like the surrounding surfaces. Alternatively, you can also use coffee or black tea soaked cotton swab. Just remember to wipe quickly after you apply the stain, so it doesn’t set in where you don’t want it.
Do other small repairs
- Replace broken light bulbs, power sockets or switches
- Fill in nail holes in the walls with some wall putty and repaint the area with the same paint
- Polish wooden surfaces with some lemon oil and a rag
- Soak the shower head in white vinegar overnight to clear the holes
- Clean mould patches using diluted bleach solution
- Deep clean the oven using baking soda paste
- Clear drains using a baking soda – vinegar volcano
These are very small items each taking no more than an hour to complete, but they raise the general condition of the property tremendously, bringing it closer to market condition. The landlord will appreciate the work done and will be less likely to claim deductions.
Invite the real estate agent/landlord for a preliminary inspection
Don’t wait for the final inspection to hear your landlord’s opinion. After the check-out report, tenants barely have any chance to improve the condition of the property and avoid deductions.
Instead, invite the estate agent or landlord to visit a month before you move and negotiate exactly how much repairs you should do in order to satisfy the landlord and receive your deposit in full.
Why do any guesswork and put in hours of extra work, on top of your moving tasks and responsibilities ? Just ask your landlord and negotiate.
End of lease cleaning
Clean the place before you move. Seriously! CLEAN THE PLACE BEFORE YOU MOVE!
Cleaning is picked as the number one reason for deposit disputes with more than 50% of all disputes including hygiene problems as part of the claim.
If you’ve lived for two years in the same property and never cleaned under the fridge or behind the over, or THE OVEN, this is the time to do it.
Move your items first to get them out of the way, then systematically clean top to bottom every surface and behind and under every piece of furniture or appliance. You might need to schedule a full day for this or get a trusty band of friends to cut down the time.
If you can’t accommodate this on your own, just book a cleaning company, especially one who specialises in end of lease cleaning. It’s better for you to do it when you can pick the company and the price. If not, your landlord will probably use their “preferred end of lease cleaners” and put 20% or 30% above the normal going rates.
Check if your bond deposit is protected
All private landlords are required by law to protect your bond in a government-authorised scheme. This scheme will hold out the bond money until the tenancy ends and assist with properly distributing the amount between the involved parties.
This prevents landlords to abuse their authority and discount unfairly from your bond. If your landlord did not properly protect your bond, you may be eligible for compensation.
You can also look into how to claim compensation. You have a 100% chance of success, and it’s fairly easy to prove it, but it would take an entire court case to win the money.
What to do if there is a dispute?
It’s always best to negotiate the return of the bond between you and the landlord. It’s the quickest way to get back your money and not hassle with disputes or court cases.
However, if there is simply no chance for you and your landlord to agree on the same thing, you should obtain legal advise to open a dispute about your money.