When vacating a rental property, you’ll undoubtedly want to get your bond back. Many renters use the bond to get started in their new place. But there are situations in which your landlord can keep all or a portion of the money. Here’s a checklist to make the move-out process simple, and to keep you from losing your bond.
- Read Your Rental Agreement
Your rental agreement provides details on ending your lease. You’ll find rules and specifications that you must follow in order to have your bond returned. Since not all rental agreements are the same, you need to closely review the agreement that you signed. Your signature means that you agreed to adhere to the terms specified in the lease. Failing to comply with the lease could mean losing your bond.
- Notify Your Landlord
Most rental agreements specify that you must inform the landlord of your plans to move. In most cases you’ll have to provide 30-days notice. Giving notice is as simple as sending your landlord a letter stating your intent to move. Send the notice at least 5 weeks before your move, so the landlord will receive it in time. Use a delivery method that requires a signature so you’ll know when the letter is received. You’ll also want to give the date of your move, and request the return of your security deposit.
Perhaps you’re vacating the rental before your lease expires. If so, your landlord will have to cancel your lease. Should your landlord refuse to cancel the lease, you’re responsible for the remainder of the rent.
- Make Repairs
Damaging your rental is the quickest way to lose your bond. It’s likely mentioned in your lease agreement as well. When vacating a rental, you must leave the property as you found it. The landlord is legally able to keep your bond if you’ve caused any damage to the rental. Check the property for damage that you’ve caused. Make repairs as needed.
Some wear and tear is normal, but you’re looking for glaring damages that clearly need repair. Are there holes in the walls caused by picture hooks? Did you mistakenly crack a windowpane or two? Have you caused any damage at all that you failed to repair? Make the repairs and document everything that you do. This is also a good time to dust and clean the property. You may want to hire a cleaning service, such as Canberra’s Best, to provide a thorough cleaning.
- Get Your Bond
If you haven’t violated your lease agreement, then you’re entitled to your bond. Your landlord will have to return your deposit or provide a good reason for refusing. As long as you’ve cleaned the property and made repairs, the landlord is unlikely to refuse your request. But depending on your lease agreement, there are possibly other reasons the landlord can legally keep your bond.