I am so excited. Today, we have a guest post from Michael Brooke, a small business owner in Sydney, providing tips to get your rental bond back, which I know is a huge issue for many people. It’s thousands of dollars usually and you need it for your next place. These tips are great and ones anyone can do. Thanks, Michael!
Like any big life change moving out of a rental property has its challenges. Packing, redirecting mail and organising a new place to live all adds to the emotional toll.
One of the biggest concerns is whether you’ll receive your rental bond back in full. Many people are relying on that money to start their next phase of life. It could be that you need the bond to:
- Pay the first few weeks rent on your new place
- Cover the next rental bond
- Purchasing new furniture or other household items
- Paying off debts
The good news is that if you do all the right things it’s relatively certain that the entire bond will be returned to you (barring some serious damage to the property). The tips below will help put you in the best possible situation to get the bond money back in your pocket.
1. Make Sure Your Rent Payments Are Up To Date
If you’re behind on rent you will not receive all of your bond back. Even if you think you are 100% up to date it’s a good idea to check with your property manager. It’s possible you missed a week somewhere and may be in arrears without knowing.
Give your property manager a call before moving out to confirm you’re up to date. Also double check the date you’ll be required to make your last payment. After the call email the manager and ask for a ledger of all rent payments made to date. In the email confirm the details of your conversation and ask for a reply. This way you have proof if the agent or landlord cries foul and tries to deduct some of your bond.
2. Double Check You Aren’t Still In a Lease
If your circumstances have changed and you need to move out unexpectedly, make sure you aren’t still in a lease. Many rental contracts have a lease break fee that will be charged to you if you move out before the final term. The costs can be significant and the fee may include your entire rental bond.
There are situations where you may be able to break the lease without incurring the fee. Some of these are:
- If the landlord refuses to repair necessary parts of the residence
- The landlord has decided to sell the property
- You have accepted social housing
- You are living in a potentially dangerous or violent environment
If you think any of the above criteria apply to you then I’d encourage you to learn more on the Breaking a Lease Early page of the NSW fair trading website.
3. Return All Sets Of Keys
You must return all sets of keys on the day you move out. Failure to do so means you’ll lose a significant chunk of your bond. Reason being, the owner will not only need new keys cut but may replace all the locks on their property. This can easily add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars.
If you lose the key during your tenancy, report it to the property manager asap. You should be able to come to an agreement whereby you can get a replacement key cut which will save you a lot of money. Act on this quickly though and be honest about what happened.
4. Fix Any Damage To The Property
It’s a requirement of all property managers to supply you with a condition report. When you moved in you would have signed one to confirm all pre-existing damage. Assess the report carefully and compare to the current state of the property. If you can, fix any problems that may have arisen while you lived there, that weren’t on the original condition report. There’s no need to fix any pre-existing damage.
If you’ve lost your condition report don’t worry. You can easily obtain a fresh copy from your property manager. Just give them a call or send an email to ask for it.
5. Ensure Your Carpets Are In Good Condition – But They Don’t Have To Be Perfect
The carpets should be in good condition but it’s a little known fact that they don’t have to be in the same condition as on move in day. An amount of ‘fair wear and tear’ is OK. What ‘fair wear and tear’ is exactly can be up for debate but it would include things such as:
- Furniture Indentations From A Sofa or Table
- General wearing from walking on the carpeting
- Fading due to age
Fair wear and tear doesn’t cover specific stains caused from things like pets or burns marks though. If you do have stains on the carpet you’re likely to be liable to clean them or risk losing some of your bond. If this is the case you may want to have a carpet cleaning company clean the carpets. For a cheaper alternatively you might can try cleaning the carpets yourself by hiring a machine from somewhere like Bunnings.
If you do decide to have the carpets professionally cleaned make sure you don’t get ripped off. A reasonable price for 3 bedrooms and a lounge room should be around $150 or less for a basic clean. Get a firm quote before they start the work. It’s a common tactic for some cleaners to quote low and then sting you with higher prices because of ‘stubborn stains’ after the job is completed. Getting a quote beforehand, preferably in writing, will help avoid this.
6. Finally, You May Not Need To Wait For The Landlord
If you’ve done all the above and are sure you deserve 100% of your bond then there’s good news. You may not even have to wait for the landlord or agent to give approval. If the inspection is done and you haven’t been notified of any hiccups there’s no reason to sit around waiting.
You can apply directly to have your case reviewed and if everything looks good you should have your entire bond back without going through the landlord.
Packing up and moving is one of life’s most exciting and challenging phases. We hope the advice above will eliminate one of the biggest stresses involved in moving; whether or not you will get your bond back. If you have any other tips or advice please leave them in the comments.
What tips would you add? How did you get your bond back?
Michael Brooke is a small business owner hailing from the south of Sydney. Although his business is cleaning his passions including family, surfing and putting a smile on peoples faces. As the owner of Carpet Cleaning Sydney he’s helped literally hundreds of people get their rental bonds back by getting their homes spick and span. He is honoured to contribute to KylieTravers.com.au , the blog of someone truly making a difference in the lives of so many Australians.