Moving houses is never an easy task. There’s the packing, finding reliable movers, disconnecting and reconnecting your utilities, and then the big move plus unpacking again. It’s exhausting!
With so much going on, you don’t need the added stress of wondering if you’ll be able to get your bond back.
It can take weeks to get your full bond back and in that time you might be worrying about whether the real estate agent will have an issue with something and try to withhold some of your bond.
You can only hope their decision will be fair so you don’t have to take further action to get it back. On top of all this worry, you could really do with that money in your pocket because moving is costly and you already forked out another whole month of rent for the bond at your new place.
So as soon as you know you’ll be moving out, you need a game plan. You will ideally have a few weeks to make preparations for your end of lease handover and will know how to restore the home to its former glory.
So what do you need to do to ensure you get your bond back? Here are our top 5 tips to ensure you have a faster handover and get your full bond returned to you.
1. Read Your Lease
Take the time to read your lease and see what was required of you throughout your tenancy. You probably haven’t familiarised yourself with it in a long time. You need to know if the agent or landlord expects you to have hired a professional cleaner, what is considered reasonable wear and tear, do you need to have the carpets professionally steam cleaned, and any other small details you might have not considered.
2. Refer to Your Property Report
When you moved into the property, you would have had to complete a property report, outlining any issues the property had, from scuff marks on the walls, to paint on the floors, scratches on the door, small tears in the fly wire, dents, leaks, cracks etc.
Any issues that were noted at the time you completed the report are ok to still be there, but any new issues need to be taken care of and repaired by you, or they will come out of your bond.
Ideally, you will have taken photos at the time that documented any issues. This record is legal proof of the state of things and would have been kept by your real estate. Hopefully, you would have had a copy too, so find it and use it.
If you didn’t have these reports, you may not be able to get your full bond back as you need proof of the state of the property before. If not, make sure you learn from it and complete all the necessary checks on the new place you’re moving into.
3. Make Any Repairs
This is a big one. Did your cat scratch at the carpet? Did you dog scratch at the door? Did your child draw on the walls? Make sure you get any little issues fixed before the real estate agent comes in for their final inspection. Otherwise, the money to fix these will come out of your bond and the agents may not bother to look around and get the best price, so it’s up to you to do your research and get them fixed as cheaply as possible.
4. Return Your Keys
Losing your keys could mean a deduction from your bond. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that you return all the keys you received when moving in. If you end up losing your keys, be sure to replace them as soon as you can.
5. End of Lease Cleaning / Exit Cleaning
Although this may sound pretty obvious, you should take time to clean your home during and after your stay. Waiting until the last moment to undertake general cleaning may require a lot of hard work and frustration. Although cleaning may not be fun, the place needs to be spotless to get your bond back in full.
But if things got a little out of control, or if you don’t have the time or energy left after arranging the rest of the move, then you can always hire a professional exit cleaning company to conduct a full end of lease clean.
End of lease cleaners will make sure the place is absolutely shining. From floors to walls, bathrooms, kitchens and everything in between, they can come in after you’ve moved all your stuff out and go through each room, ensuring everything meets the standard outlined in your lease.
Also, many end-of-lease cleaners work with real estate agents regularly so they know exactly what’s expected for a proper exit clean. It’s for this reason that you may just want to hand over the hard work to an expert; so you can get on with the big job of unpacking at the other end.
If you do decide to hire an end of lease cleaner, consider that some of them even offer a bond-back guarantee. This is because they work tirelessly to restore the property to how it should be and they know you’ll get your bond back if you get them on the case.