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How to Get Your Bond Back Every Time

By George Hadgelias

In a perfect world, we’d all never have to move house.

The time, the stress and the financial imposition involved in moving all your possessions from one location to another combine to make it one of those experiences most of us would rather avoid at all costs.

And then, as renters, there’s the challenge of delivering the vacated house back in tip-top condition, in order to receive your full bond back.

Here’s what you need to do to get your bond back every time, in full.

How to get the bond back: the checklist

The aim of the game when trying to get your full bond back is to leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in.

Beller Real Estate senior property manager Candice Deane says it’s helpful to compare the property’s current condition to photos from when you moved in.

And she advises tenants to obtain a checklist from their property manager, which will guide them through what they need to do when they vacate.

“For them to get their full bond back, if they tick off every single thing on the checklist, in terms of cleaning, things will be ok,” Deane says.

“Things that will prevent them from getting their full bond back is if they leave a property dirtier than when they moved in, if the condition report doesn’t match up and if there’s any damage to the property that we don’t consider to be wear and tear, like holes etc.”

Have a pre-vacate inspection

Your interpretation of “good condition” and an agent’s interpretation could be very different.

So it makes a lot of sense to have the property manager inspect the home before you vacate, to advise you on areas you’ll need to address in order to receive your full bond amount back.

“At that time we’ll have a look through the property to see what condition the tenants have got it in and things we need to prepare ourselves for when the tenant vacates. We can then raise any concerns with the tenant about the condition of the property,” Deane says.

Hire a professional cleaner

Yes, hiring a cleaner will cost you a bit of money, but it’s money that you’ll likely have to spend anyway if the property manager takes issue with parts of the property you’ve cleaned yourself.

A professional cleaner will steam clean the carpets, for one, which is mandatory for most rentals.

You can hire your own cleaner, or use one the agent recommends, which often streamlines the process as the cleaner knows the standard the agent expects and requires.

Deane says you can also cut the cost of the cleaner significantly by first giving the property a quick clean yourself.

“If the tenants move their things out and do a quick once over, when our cleaner goes in it can be up to $200, just to go over the top and steam clean the carpets,” she says.

“But if we have a tenant vacate and they leave it in a really disgusting state, cleaning can cost up to around $600. And that’s just for a two-bedroom apartment, doing walls, power points, floors, windows, blinds, full kitchen, full bathroom. Just to clean the stove, if we had our professional cleaner do it, they charge $80.”

Report issues as they arise

Accidentally put a hole in a wall or break a towel rail? Tell the property manager about it at the time, rather than waiting for the end of the lease.

You’ll still have to pay to fix it if it’s damage that’s more than just wear and tear, but sorting out the issue then and there means you won’t be kept waiting to receive your bond back at the end of your lease while the property manager hires tradesmen to repair the damage.

“Always be upfront if you damage something throughout the lease,” Deane advises.

“At the routine inspections, if it’s raised, talk about it then and fix it then, don’t wait until you move out because then it will delay your bond, and obviously you want to get your bond back as quickly as possible. If you damage something, contact us and we’ll refer you onto a tradie so you can get it fixed. At the end of the lease if everything’s perfect you’ll get your bond back.”

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