End of lease clean­ing – how to get your bond back

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Property Guide - - NEWS -

Have you just wo­ken up in a sweat in the wee hours of the morn­ing, shak­ing off the night­mare of your prop­erty man­ager call­ing to say they are tak­ing $300 of your bond re­pay­ment to pay for clean­ing? Never fear, we’re sure it is a com­mon night­mare across the coun­try. Will any­one spot the cof­fee stain in the cor­ner?

You could cer­tainly give up cof­fee and save your­self the fear or ever mak­ing a spillage again, but no­body ever re­ally wants to give up cof­fee. And don’t even men­tion wine. In­stead, keep this tab open for the re­main­der of your lease and mem­o­rise what your re­spon­si­bil­i­ties are in re­gards to end of lease clean­ing and get­ting your bond back in full.

Un­for­tu­nately for the more clumsy out there, a prop­erty man­ager or land­lord does have the right to use some of your bond pay­ment to pay for clean­ing or re­pairs fol­low­ing the end of your lease, as long as this clean­ing ad­dresses is­sues that are not con­sid­ered ‘wear and tear’. Kitchen and bath­room cleaner prod­ucts sit on a bench­top along with a brush.

Gen­eral ‘wear and tear’ and end of lease clean­ing

The law in Vic­to­ria states that a land­lord should ex­pect their prop­erty to be left ‘rea­son­ably clean’, but al­low for ‘wear and tear’. This word­ing leaves enough room for com­mon sense to en­ter the stage when dis­cus­sions be­gin be­tween a land­lord/prop­erty man­ager and their ten­ant. If they can­not come to an agree­ment about what con­sti­tutes wear and tear, they then have the op­tion of re­fer­ring to VCAT, the Vic­to­rian Civil and Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal. Sim­i­lar pro­cesses ex­ist in the other states, with the NSW Civil and Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal act­ing as the point of con­tact for con­test­ing any claims made by a land­lord through NSW Fair Trad­ing.

It is gen­er­ally cut-and-dry de­cid­ing what con­sti­tutes fair wear and tear. In NSW, only dam­age that oc­curs due to neg­li­gent, ir­re­spon­si­ble or in­ten­tional ac­tion can be counted as the ten­ant’s re­spon­si­bil­ity. Take a look around the prop­erty. Is their flak­ing paint on the walls? Fad­ing car­pets and cur­tains? Tired look­ing wooden floors or slid­ing doors that res­o­lutely refuse to slide? That is not your re­spon­si­bil­ity, as wear and tear comes down to the land­lord to fix at their own ex­pense. Some un­scrupu­lous land­lords may claim that it is your re­spon­si­bil­ity to re­port this wear and tear and that be­cause you haven’t, you must pay for their re­pair. This is not true. Reg­u­lar prop­erty in­spec­tions are the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the land­lord to carry out, and it is dur­ing these that they should pick up on such things.

So, what end of lease clean­ing do you need to carry out?

While you can leave a prop­erty at the end of the lease with­out do­ing any clean­ing, you should then ex­pect the prop­erty man­age to set aside some of your bond to pay for a gen­eral clean of the prop­erty.

To save your­self this money, spend time clean­ing the fol­low­ing ar­eas where a prop­erty man­ager will look for grime: Kitchen cab­i­nets and pantries. Cup­boards and draws in a kitchen of­ten ac­crue a thin film of dirt and oil from var­i­ous cook­ing prod­ucts. If you are a renter, you most likely know what it is like to get into a prop­erty to find kitchen cup­boards that are in des­per­ate need of a clean be­fore you can even move your boxes. Make sure you spend time clean­ing this area be­fore you hand over your keys. Bath­room. The bath­room is another area that quickly de­vel­ops spots of grime. Some bath­rooms may lack ap­pro­pri­ate ven­ti­la­tion so that you can claim that any mould that has de­vel­oped is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the land­lord. If not, make sure you clean up any ar­eas where grime has built up, such as be­tween tiling and be­hind the toi­let. Skirt­ing boards. These of­ten get ig­nored by ten­ants. even when they live in the prop­erty. Skirt­ing boards col­lect dust very quickly, but are eas­ily vac­u­umed. When a prop­erty is va­cated, the dust along a skirt­ing board be­comes quickly ap­par­ent, which may lead a prop­erty man­ager to call a pro­fes­sional cleaner at your ex­pense. Win­dows are a must for a clean when mov­ing out. A cleaner may charge ex­tra for cer­tain win­dows, so save your­self sig­nif­i­cant ex­pense by do­ing this your­self at the end of your lease. Out­side ar­eas. It can be easy to miss these when clean­ing up. You don’t have to go as far as hir­ing a high pres­sure hose, but sweep­ing up out­side ar­eas and weed­ing any spots that have be­come sub­ur­ban jun­gles will en­sure you re­ceive your full bond.

If you are go­ing to take any­thing from this ar­ti­cle, per­haps take the ad­vice it is best to stay on top of the clean­li­ness of your prop­erty dur­ing your ten­ancy. Even if you start to clean a few weeks be­fore you move, this will make the process much eas­ier come mov­ing day. Spend a morn­ing on a room, such as the bath­room, so that you don’t have to don the clean­ing gloves af­ter a full day of lifting boxes. Beyond clean­ing your prop­erty, there are a few more con­sid­er­a­tions to tick off on your checklist to make sure you re­ceive your bond back in full.

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