The idea of losing your security bond can be a dreadful thought to many. There are many reasons why agents hold back bonds however getting your bond back is easier than you might think. All you need to do is follow this 5 step guide, maintain your property and build a good relationship with you property manager.
Step 1: Understand Your Tenancy Agreement
A tenancy agreement, also known as a lease agreement is a legally binding contract between the tenant/s and property owner/manager. Many people make the mistake of not reading this document however it is important that this agreement is read and understood by all whom sign the contract. It has vital information that can save you lots of money if adhered to. You will find key information such as the period of tenancy start and end dates, conditions that could terminate the agreement and the duration of your notice period among other similar topics.
A property manager is able to add special terms to the agreement such as allowing pets to reside within the dwelling or pass on the liability for tenants to pay for particular services or maintenance. These terms should be agreed upon prior to signing the contract. Once the document has been received, the tenant has 5 days to sign the contract and return it to the letting agent. The property manger in turn has 14 days to provide the tenant with a copy this agreement as well as the pocket guide for tenants.
To become more familiar with tenancy agreements 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).
Step 2: Give Notice at the Right Time
Failing to inform your property manager that you will not be renewing your lease in Brisbane, Queensland at the right time can cause you to lose your security deposit. Many property managers claim that they did not receive a letter from their tenants as way to deduct funds from your bond money. It is important to write a letter that clearly states your intentions to move out of the dwelling. You are not required to justify your reason for leaving the property, you simply need to notify the managing agent of the the date you intend on handing back the keys as it will be served as a notice of intention to leave (Form 13). Keep a copy of your communication along with a receipt for certified mail or a digital copy of your email that is dated as these items may be handy in the future for any disputes that may arise.
Step 3: Pay the Rent up to the Last Day
The last month prior to vacating can be an expensive time however you shouldn't consider your bond to be payment for your rent. Many tenants before you have made this mistake to help alleviate some of the associated costs with moving, however its a recipe that could spell disaster!
Rent that is owed to a landlord in Queensland often becomes a dispute that is to be settled in court. If your property does not meet the requirements of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Act, 2008 and there is damage caused to the property or the house has not been appropriately cleaned, then the landlord is able to use your security bond to file a lawsuit against you for the damages and cleaning in addition to the unpaid rent.
It is recommended to plan your end of lease as early as possible, so that you are able to budget for expenses such as hiring removalists, hiring professionals for bond cleaning in Brisbane, transferal of utilities, settling bills, etc and paying rent up until the last day.
Step 4: Repair Any Damages
Your landlord will use your security deposit for any damages caused to the property during your tenancy period. These repairs will be charged to you at a higher price then what it takes to carry out simple repair tasks yourself. Some easy tasks that you can take care of yourself might be; repairing holes in walls, changing light bulbs and batteries and painting to ensure the walls are in the original color and state. Basically, you are to leave the property in the same condition that you found it, and not so much improve on it, so don't over do it.
A key tip is prior to moving furniture and boxes into your property is to take the time to check through the entry report for defects noted. If you notice any defects that were not written on your properties entry report, take a photo and write down its location so you are able to notify your real estate manager within a respectful time frame. Being thorough during your entry inspection means that you can save on money at the end of your lease by avoiding being charged for repairs that were there prior to your contract date.
Step 5: Clean Your Property Thoroughly
When you decide to leave your rental property, you'll need to leave the property in the same condition and in all cases this means restoring any gardens to their original condition, removing all furniture and appliances not included with the property as well as any personal belongings and rubbish but above all, cleaning the house to a respectable standard. You do not want to have your bond held back because the property was cleaned below standards.
People often find it difficult to clean their 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. Therefore if you find yourself like one of these people and are time restricted or not confident in doing the cleaning tasks, try hiring affordable and experienced professionals who specialize in end of lease and bond cleaning in Brisbane, Queensland.
The added benefit of hiring a professional to take care of your cleaning is that they have real estate approved cleaning checklists that they adhere to as well as bond back cleaning guarantees that warrant their cleaning services and in most cases will return to a property free of charge if your property manger notices something that was missed.
If you feel up to the task though and want to save money on hiring professionals you can get a free copy of a real estate approved exit cleaning checklist here. It is recommended that you spread these tasks out over a period of a week or two, however a team of professional bond cleaners can perform these duties in just a fraction of a day.
Be sure to check your tenancy agreement once again during this stage for any additional requirements that might have been imposed by special terms in your contract such as carpet cleaning and pest control.
Taking a procedural approach when renting a property will provide the best outcome for everyone involved and will ensure you get your bond back with ease. Be attentive during your initial entry report, maintain the property condition throughout the tenancy period, repair any damages as the occur and cleaning the property thoroughly will ensure that when you hand over the keys, the exit report will be signed off on, releasing your bond back to you immediately.