Following the Best Exit Process for Rental Properties
Vacating a rental property can be an extremely stressful time.
When you end your tenancy, you have to pack, clean, fill in paperwork, as well as everything else going on in your life.
This article will give you a few tips to make sure you follow the best possible exit practice when you finish your next tenancy.
Cleaning the Property for Inspection
The first thing you will need to do when you vacate a rental property is to clean it.
As per the Residential Tenancy Agreement (RTA), it is your responsibility as a tenant to look after the property.
To ensure you pass your final inspection, here are some things to consider when you are cleaning the property:
- Scrub shower doors so that there is no soap scum
- Wipe the top of the cupboards and the fridge in the kitchen
- Clean out the oven and the microwave thoroughly for the next tenants
- If mildew is a problem in the house, you may need to wash the curtains
- Get rid of any stains on the carpet (note: landlords cannot enforce professional carpet cleaning in the tenancy agreement, however they may require it if there is serious damage).
Cleaning the property thoroughly will mean that you pass your final inspection. That means you will get your bond refund processed more efficiently.
Bond Refund Process
After your tenancy has ended, you will apply to get your bond back.
If there is no significant damage to the property, this should not be a difficult process.
Once the bond centre receives and approve the form, they will refund the money into your nominated account. You will need to contact them directly regarding the timeframe for this. How to get your bond back:
- Download bond refund form from the Tenancy Services Website (or get one from your property manager/landlord)
- Get signatures from everyone who signed the bond lodgement form
- Work out what percent everyone will have refunded and add the correct bank account details
- Send the bond form back to your landlord/property manager to be signed
Throughout your tenancy, your landlord conducts regular property inspections. This means that they should be aware of the condition of the property.
Make sure you read the initial property report that you checked and signed on arrival. It will outline what damage existed before you arrived.
Here are a few tips to ensure you get your bond refund processed efficiently:
- Look after the property while you are living there- the more you look after it over time, the less there will be to do at the end of the tenancy
- Get the signatures of everyone that signed the original bond lodgement form. Make sure that all signatures are the same as when you first signed as they will be matched against the original
- Double check bank account details so there is no delay
- Get your landlord’s signature as soon as your tenancy has ended (if you have a property manager, you will lisaise through them). This is done after the tenancy has ended as they will need to conduct their final inspection once you have vacated the property
Damage to the Property: What Happens to Your Bond?
While you are cleaning, it is a good time to check for any damage to the property. When you started your tenancy, you should have been given a chattel list. This will outline what belongs to the landlord, and what damage there was (if any) when you first moved in.
It is important to note that landlords cannot withhold your bond for general “wear and tear” of the property. If you believe that the request is unreasonable and you need mediation, you can seek assistance through the Tenancy Tribunal.
The landlord may conclude that there is intentional or careless damage on your part.
In this case, they will usually get a quote for repairs and apply to have it taken out of your bond. Landlords can also use your bond to cover rent in arrears in certain circumstances (for example if you failed to pay them rent and it is still outstanding).
This process must be done through official bond lodgement services. A landlord cannot withhold bond without reasonable cause.
If you have taken care of the property, vacating the rental property should be a straightforward process!
Remember if you have any questions, contact your Property Manager directly, or one of our helpful Crockers Property Management team on 0800 276 2537.