Before a tenant moves into a property, they pay a bond to a landlord or property manager. Which is then lodged with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority and released on completion a tenancy. The Property Manager will conduct an ingoing and final condition report before and after a tenancy to compare and recognise any issues that need to be rectified.

There are multiple reasons why a tenant may not receive a full bond refund or are required to pay additional fees. These include; damage to the property, cleanliness issues, lost keys, late/ unpaid rent, or a broken lease.

The following tips will help you receive your full bond and avoid paying additional fees:

Read your lease

First of all, it’s important that you read your lease and understand all of the terms and conditions. The lease outlines your responsibilities and the landlords in relation to the property and your tenancy. If you have any questions, make sure you speak to your Property Manager to clarify information.

Be thorough when filling out your condition report.

At the beginning of your lease, you will receive a full written report from your landlord or Property Manager that details the condition of the entire property, including photos of all rooms and any existing marks/ damage. You will have three days to make any additional notes. It’s important that you are thorough and add in any missed marks/ damage as the report will be used when you vacate the property.

Take photos of the property yourself.

Your Property Manager will take an array of photos at the ingoing condition report. We suggest that you add any photos of items you are adding to this report as evidence of the condition of the area. As a precautionary measure, always keep a record of these photos and your condition report.

Fix any issues as they arise.

Wear and tear happens in every property, so it’s quite common for rental properties to require maintenance. Where many tenants unfortunately become unstuck is not reporting issues and paying the price at the end of their tenancy. Make sure you communicate all maintenance issues to your Property Manager as soon as they arise, right throughout your lease.

Don’t lose your keys

In the case that you lose keys, you can speak to your Property Manager and arrange for a set to be cut, but this will be at your own expense. To avoid additional costs keep track of your keys.

Keep your home clean right through your tenancy

Make sure you keep your property clean during your tenancy as future Property Managers will ask for confirmation of how you kept the property if you need a reference. When you vacate look through the ingoing condition report, you received at the start of the tenancy to make sure the property is in the same condition as when you moved in.

If you decide to break lease give formal notice in advance

If you need to break your lease, please put this in writing to your Property Manager. In this case, you will be responsible for lease break fees and rent until a new tenant is found. So if you can give advanced notice, it will grant your landlord/ Property Manager more time to find a new tenant and potentially save you from having to pay additional rent.

Pay your rent on time.

It can be easy to forget to pay rent, so it’s best to set up an automatic transfer to ensure you pay rent on time every month. In doing this, you are also leaving an excellent record of regular payments that will help you secure other rental properties and even loans.

Ultimately in order to receive your full bond, you must take care of the property and keep your property manager informed. If you have any questions or concerns about your bond, contact your Property Manager, they can help and give you additional resources if required.

This article is one of many included in the Winter edition of the NextRE Times download and read the full magazine here

Related article: What is a notice to vacate?