Cleaning Guides

Saying Goodbye to Your Rental? Here’s How to Get Your Bond Back!

Jacob Lund /

Are you planning to move out of your rental property in Australia soon? If so, you may be wondering how to get your rental bond back. After all, in most cases, it’s worth four weeks’ rent, a rather significant sum of money which you can put into your moving out and everyday living expenses.

To ensure you receive your bond back in full, however, you need to follow the end of lease cleaning requirements to a T and conduct a thorough cleaning of the property. It is essential to return the property in the same condition as when you first moved in, minus any normal wear and tear. Additionally, you need to attend the final inspection with the landlord and agree on any issues that need to be addressed.

So if you:

Then read along.

Understand your rental agreement

Reading through your rental agreement thoroughly before moving out is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it can help you avoid any misunderstandings or disputes with your landlord or property manager. Your rental agreement outlines the terms and conditions of your tenancy, so when you know them you can avoid breaching any terms unintentionally.

Secondly, your rental agreement will include information about the notice period required when ending your tenancy. This notice period may vary depending on the state or territory you are renting in, and failing to provide the required notice can result in losing your rental bond or incurring additional fees.

Thirdly, your rental agreement may include cleaning requirements that you need to meet before vacating the property. Failing to meet these requirements will likely result in deductions from your rental bond or even legal action taken against you.

Lastly, your rental agreement may include any other conditions that may affect your bond refund, such as repairs or damages that need to be fixed before you move out. Understanding these conditions can help you avoid any surprises or disputes when it comes to getting your bond back.

Conduct end-of-lease cleaning

Conducting a thorough end-of-lease clean is the first thing you need to do if you want to get your full bond back. Whether you choose to use a professional end-of-lease cleaning company or do it yourself, is up to you. Either way, by the power of your contact you are obligated to leave the property in the same condition as when you first moved in, aside from normal wear and tear. Failure to do this will result in deductions from your bond.

With that said, here are some tips on areas that require special attention during your end-of-lease clean:

  1. Carpets: Carpets accumulate dust, dirt, and stains over time, and cleaning them can be a daunting task. You may consider hiring professional carpet cleaners, or if you prefer to do it yourself, use a carpet cleaning machine by following the carpet manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Walls: Walls can easily get scuffed and marked over time, so it’s important to give them a good wipe-down to remove any marks or stains. Use warm soapy water and a sponge or cloth to clean them, and avoid using harsh chemicals that can ruin the paint.
  3. Windows: Clean windows can make a big difference in the overall appearance of the property. Ensure you clean both the inside and outside of the windows, including the frames, sills, and tracks. You can use a glass cleaner and a squeegee or a microfiber cloth to achieve a streak-free finish.
  4. Appliances: Kitchen appliances such as the oven, stove, and microwave, are often included in the tenancy agreement and require special attention during the end-of-lease clean. Ensure they are thoroughly cleaned, both inside and out.
  5. Bathroom: The bathroom is another area that requires special attention. Ensure you clean the shower, bath, sink, and toilet thoroughly, including the grout and tiles.

Understanding your rental agreement is crucial to avoid disputes and ensure you meet all conditions for a bond refund. Conduct a thorough end-of-lease cleaning, focusing on carpets, walls, appliances, and bathrooms. Fix any damage that goes beyond what could be considered a normal amount of wear and tear. Document the property’s condition before vacating to protect against unfair claims. Maintain clear communication with your landlord or property manager about their expectations and timelines for bond refunds. Following these steps will help ensure a smooth moving out process and increase your chances of getting your bond back.

When you’re done with the cleaning

  • Make sure to take all of your belongings with you.
  • If you don’t have one already, ask the property owner or manager for a copy of the Entry Condition Report (Form 1a) or the Entry Condition Report (Form 1b). This document outlines the condition of a rental property at the beginning of your tenancy.
  • Fill out the Exit Condition Report (Form 14a) or the Exit Condition Report (Form 14b). This document will record the condition of the property at the end of your tenancy.
  • Make sure to provide your forwarding address to the RTA and include it on the Refund of Rental Bond
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Repair any damage or wear-and-tear

According to the Residential Tenancies Authority, fair wear and tear are defined as “what happens during normal use of the property and changes that occur with ageing. The property can also deteriorate over time through exposure to the environment“. This means that any damage that is caused by regular use, such as carpets in high-traffic areas being more worn than those in less-used areas, is considered fair wear and tear, and the landlord cannot charge you for it.

On the other hand, grime, dirt, grease and damage caused either by a person or a pet is not fair wear and tear. Examples include missing or torn curtains or blinds, burns or cuts in benchtops, holes in walls, badly scratched or gouged wooden floors, stains or burn marks on the carpets and other instances of this sort. If you fail to fix any of these, you may lose a significant part or even your entire rental bond.

Document everything

It’s a good idea to take photos or videos of the rental property before you vacate. This documentation can serve as evidence if there are any disputes over damages between you and your landlord. By having photographic evidence of the property’s condition at the move-out time, you can help to protect yourself from any unfair claims by your landlord.

When taking photos or videos, it’s important to be thorough and document every part of the property, including any damage or wear and tear that was present before you moved in. This can help to establish a baseline of the property’s condition and help to support your claim if there are any disputes.

Communicate with your landlord or property manager

It’s important to have clear communication with your landlord or property manager about expectations for returning your bond, so there are no misunderstandings.

Before you move out, speak to your landlord or property manager and ask them about their expectations for the property’s condition at the end of your tenancy. This can help you to focus your cleaning efforts in specific areas and ensure that you meet their expectations. You can also ask about their timeline for processing bond refunds, so you know what to expect and can plan accordingly.

If there are any issues or disputes over the bond refund, it’s important to communicate with your landlord or property manager in a calm and professional manner. By working together to resolve any issues, you can avoid any unnecessary delays or complications in getting your bond back.

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  • Become very familiar with your rental agreement.
  • Carry out an end-of-lease cleaning and concentrate your efforts on carpets, walls, appliances and the bathroom.
  • Repair any damages beyond the fair wear and tear.
  • Take photos of the property before moving out, just in case your landlord makes unfair claims.

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