Real estate agents are paid by the landlord to manage the tenants at a property, so sometimes they can be quite picky when it comes to the little details. They might make it difficult or slow down the process of getting your bond back to you when you move houses because they want to make sure the landlord is not being left with a huge cleaning or repairs bill.
So if you want to guarantee you get your bond back, make sure to leave the property in the same or a better condition as when you moved in.
Real estate agents can put you in a very uncomfortable ‘hostage situation’ when holding on to your bond if the place is not clean enough or up to their standard. So, how clean does your house need to be when moving out? Let’s find out.
How Clean Should You Leave Your Rented Property?
Rules governing rental issues may differ from Australian state to state but in Melbourne, renters are required to leave the property in a reasonably clean condition when moving houses. That said, many landlords and real estate agents have very high demands or expectations when it comes to leaving the property clean.
Melbourne tenants are also expected to complete a condition report prior to moving in. It should be taken seriously and completed properly with both the tenant and the real estate agent in attendance. This helps both parties to establish what is or isn’t reasonable at a later date.
By the time you move out, you may not have the same real estate agent, so everything should have been correctly marked on the report, and photos should ideally have been taken of any pre-existing damage. This helps the tenant when moving out to show the state of things prior, so they can only be expected to return things to how they were before.
For tenants who don’t want to spend every spare second cleaning their old place after they’ve moved on to greener pastures, they can outsource the cleaning to a professional cleaning company that specialises in exit cleaning or end of lease cleaning. These companies know what landlords and real estate agents are looking for and will work very hard and thoroughly to restore the property and make sure you get your bond back.
Melbourne exit cleaners will focus on every aspect of cleaning, from the kitchen and bathrooms to the bedrooms, living areas, laundry and can even help with professional carpet steam cleaning. No stone will be left unturned in their pursuit of cleanliness, which means they will take the stress off your shoulders and ensure a complete end of lease clean that helps you get your bond back as quickly as possible.
The Legal Requirements
If you want to know your legal requirements for exiting a property and getting your bond back, you should check your lease. But sometimes leases may be overly cautious or even outdated as laws may have recently changed, so it’s best to check your residential tenancy rights at the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.
The term found in most lease agreements is “reasonably clean” though it may be considered subjective. A tenant can also request special conditions to be included in the agreement, indicating the cleaning required when leaving the premises. Doing this helps to get rid of any form of subjectivity regarding reasonableness.
Until recently, the law backed landlords and property managers to hold on to bonds and settlements. If, after a final inspection, the property was not in a similar condition as when the lease was signed, the landlord could delay refunding the bond. However new changes to the law mean that renters will be able to apply to the Residential Tenancy Bond Authority (RTBA) to have all or part of their bond released without their landlord’s consent.
Damage and Fair Wear and Tear
Depending on your lease contract, you may be liable for the damages you, your pets or your children cause to the building during your stay. However, you will be protected from ‘fair’ wear and tear, a natural process that occurs when a property is used over time.
For example, using a floor or carpet every day will come with some natural wear and tear, even after carpet steam cleaning has been completed. Unfortunately, landlords may have different opinions about what constitutes fair wear and tear, leading to disputes that need to be settled through The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
What About Bond Refunds?
As mentioned earlier, real estate agents can put you in a very uncomfortable hostage situation when holding on to your bond because the place is not clean enough. That gives a huge advantage to the landlord, as they decide whether a property is clean enough to meet their standards.
Though the laws about getting your bond back are changing in Victoria, you can still do a few things to protect yourself and ensure a hassle-free handover. Make sure the property is put back to the condition it was leased to you in.
This includes fixing anything that you broke or that was damaged during your stay (within reason), and making sure you clean the premises thoroughly or hire an end of lease cleaner to get the property to the standard the real estate agent would expect it to be returned to.
The cleanliness of your property plays a huge role in whether you will receive your full bond back so don’t hesitate to hire our exit cleaning services and bond back cleaning service in Melbourne.