Your bond is a significant amount of your savings, and the idea of losing it can be very stressful. You may have come across many stories where the tenants have lost their security deposit, but getting the bond back is not as difficult as you may think. All you need to do is follow the right procedure, maintain the property and build a decent relationship with your landlord.
People often make the grave mistake of not taking pictures of the property when they move in or not hiring professionals who perform end of lease cleaning in Brisbane. These small errors can prove very costly during the end of the lease. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you get your bond back without any fuss. Have a look!
Step 1: Read Your Lease Agreement Properly
As soon as you get the lease agreement for your new house in Brisbane, read it thoroughly. Many people make the mistake of not reading the clauses properly, and have to later pay the price for it. Reading the agreement is essential because it helps you to know the exact requirements of the landlord. You also get vital information like the conditions that can terminate the agreement, the duration of your notice period and other similar things.
Your comprehensive knowledge about the agreement will help you get your bond back. If you visit the Residential Tenancies Authority of Queensland, you will get a better idea of all the rules and regulations about the general tenancy agreement (Form 18a). Here are some essential points.
- Property owner can add special terms in the agreement like whether you can keep a pet or not, whether you need to pay for pool maintenance or not and so on.
- Being a tenant, you must sign the lease agreement and return it to the owner of the property within five days.
- Once the owner receives the original agreement, you should receive the copy within 14 days.
- You must also receive a copy of the pocket guide for tenants.
- You cannot allow anyone (as a new tenant) to stay with you until you get permission from your property owner.
Step 2: Notify Your Landlord at the Right Time
Many tenants in Brisbane, Queensland lose their bond money as they fail to inform their property manager about moving out at the right time. This is an essential step to get back the security deposit. Write a letter to your property manager declaring your plan to move out. If you are moving due to a serious bug infestation or unattended repairs, then you can mention that in the letter.
Otherwise, you don’t need to justify your decision. In the letter, you should also remind your landlord that you are expecting your security deposit at your new address. Do not forget to mention the date as it will be served as a notice of intention to leave (Form 13).
Many property managers claim that they didn’t receive any letter from their tenant. They use it as an excuse to deduct some money from the deposit, so make a copy of the letter and keep it in a safe place. This copy can come handy in future. Send the letter through a certified mail and store the receipt safely.
Step 3: Pay the House Rent for the Last Month
The last month rent often becomes a matter of dispute between the tenants and the property manager in Queensland. So, you should not take it lightly! Many tenants mistakenly assume the security deposit to be the last month’s rent. But this idea can backfire.
If the rental property is not appropriately cleaned or has damages that require attention, then the landlord can use your deposit there and drag you to the court for the ‘unpaid’ rent. So do not consider the bond amount as the last month’s rent until it is precisely mentioned in the lease agreement.
In the last month, you need to take care of several expenses like hiring removalists, professionals who perform end of lease cleaning in Brisbane, transfer of utilities, settling bills, etc. So, plan your budget properly so that you can pay the last month’s rent on time without any stress. Keep a copy of the cheque along with the copy of notice and request for the receipt.
Step 4: Make the Essential Repairs throughout the House
When you are moving out of the rental property, you must take care of the repair work. Otherwise, the landlord/property manager will use your security deposit for the repair work. And it goes without saying that, the landlord will charge you more money to repair something than what it would cost if you did it yourself. So do the needful repair work and ensure that you get back the bond.
However, you need to understand that you are not here to improve the appearance of the rental property, so you should not overdo the repair work. The idea is to handover the house in the same condition as it was when you moved in.
Go for the simple and easy repairs, including the following:
- Repair the path holes
- Paint a room back to its original colour
- Change the bulbs and batteries
- Repair the appliances
Step 5: Clean the Rental Property Appropriately
Substandard cleaning of the rental property is perhaps the biggest factor responsible for disputes between the landlords and the tenants. If your landlord/property manager is not happy with the cleaning of the property after the final inspection, you are most likely to lose a hefty amount from your security deposit.
Thus, you need to clean the property thoroughly and make sure that you do not skip any area. To do it properly, you must prepare a checklist and follow it carefully. This type of checklist is available on various websites, so you can download it directly. This will save your time. Here is a basic checklist to clean your rental property.
- Toilet, bathtub, and sink
- Showerhead, shower glass and curtains
- Mirror, walls, and grouts
- Countertop, drawers and cabinets
- Oven, microwave, dishwasher, sink etc.
- Kitchen tiles and grouts
- Windows and walls
Also, clean the other rooms, such as the laundry room and garage. In general, clean the ceiling of the entire house and remove cobwebs and moulds. Sweep the floors properly, remove any stains and mop it if it is required.
People often find it difficult to clean the house at the end of lease because there are several things that a person needs to take care of during relocation and it is not easy to focus on the cleaning part. Thus people hire experienced professionals who perform end of lease cleaning in Brisbane. There are two benefits of hiring professional cleaners:
- Even if you leave no stone unturned in cleaning the house, you cannot match the level of professional cleaners. They have the experience, technical knowledge and advanced tools to accomplish the task flawlessly. They exactly know what property managers look for during the final inspection and thus, they perform their tasks accordingly. And if the landlord is not happy with the result, the cleaning company sends their cleaners again to solve the issue without charging you anything.
- As you handover the entire cleaning responsibility to the professionals, you save your time and effort. They allow you to focus on other vital tasks like packing the belongings, transferring the utilities, taking care of the family, organising the essential documents, files, and so on. This way, you get the chance to prepare for your move without any stress.
Step 6: Take All Your Belongings with You
Leaving the unwanted junk behind can annoy your landlord, and that can cost you a hefty amount from your security deposit. Thus, when you are moving out, make sure that you are taking everything with you, irrespective of its importance. If you want to get rid of the clutter, leaving them behind is not a solution. Start your preparation as early as possible. Identify all the items that you don’t want to use in future and what you don’t use anymore.
Then organise a garage sale and sell as many items as possible such as electronic gadgets, small appliances, coffee table, cricket kit, etc. You can also contact charities in Queensland and donate them your old clothes, books, shoes, etc. You can dispose of the rest of the unwanted things.
If you contact a company that offers end of lease cleaning in Brisbane, the professionals will find it easy to clean an empty house. So, before you leave the house to hand over the keys to the landlord, double-check the storage areas, drawers, cabinets, closets, etc.
The Bottom Line
Many renters believe that they need to put some extra-ordinary effort to get back the bond. However, all you need to do is some basic things like move-in and move-out inspection, maintaining the property, being careful with the walls, paying the rent on time, and so on. The step-by-step process mentioned here will help you to get the bond back easily.