“Make the moving process stress-free and ensure you get your bond back sooner with our tips from trusted REIWA property managers.”

Getting your security bond back at the end of a tenancy is a common concern for tenants.

Our Information Services team receive multiple calls from tenants who are unsure of their rights and obligations when it comes to their final inspection.

Make the moving process stress-free and ensure you get your bond back sooner with our tips from trusted REIWA property managers.

Tip 1: Set the standard from the moment you move in

Setting yourself up for success when you move in will help you in the long run.

This includes giving the property a clean before you move your furniture in. It doesn’t have to be immaculate as you’ll inevitably clean it again once everything is in place, but taking the time to set your own standards will have a lasting effect.

Also, where possible, try to give yourself enough overlap between properties to move everything safely, keeping your goods and the property safe from accidental damage.

Tip 2: It’s all about the PCR

No, it’s not a COVID test – your Property Condition Report (or PCR) will be your bible when it comes to your final inspection.

Print a copy of your PCR after you move in and use it as a reference for how the property was handed over to you. In most cases, tenants will maintain the home above the set standard, but the PCR sets a good baseline.

Taking a video walkthrough or images (which are timestamped by your device) will assist in easily resolving any disputes at the end of the tenancy. Make sure you submit these with your ingoing PCR so both parties are aware of any issues at the beginning of the agreement.

If you are using a cleaner for your final bond clean, leave them a copy of the PCR to ensure they are aware of any problem areas that need extra attention.

At the end of the tenancy, compare your ingoing and outgoing PCRs to ensure the property is in the same, or better, condition than when it was handed to you.

If there are any disputes, remember to work through the discrepancies with your property manager, who will help you reach a resolution.

Tip 3: Communication is key

The key to any great relationship is communication, so why would your relationship with your property manager be any different? Your property manager does not benefit from keeping your bond from you longer than necessary, so consider them an ally and keep the lines of communication open throughout the tenancy.

If you run into any issues during your tenancy, it is best to bring them up as they arise and avoid leaving them until the final inspection where they are more likely to be deducted from your bond.

It is easy to misinterpret someone’s tone via email. Having a conversation over the phone is a great way to ensure your friendly tone doesn’t come across any other way and can be followed by an email to confirm any details and keep the conversation “on the record”.

Tip 4: Prevention is better than the cure

Below are some of the common areas property managers will focus on during a final inspection:

  • Ovens cleaned and grease removed on extraction fans
  • Cobwebs removed, both inside and outside
  • Lawns mowed and garden beds maintained and free from weeds and rubbish/debris
  • Scratches on wooden floors and walls
  • Shower screens maintained and free from dirt and grime
  • Painted walls and doors maintained and any damage patched (eg from picture hooks, children drawing etc) – you can ask the property manager for the paint colour code
  • Carpets cleaned (consider professional cleaning, especially if you had a pet)

Rather than leaving it until the end of the lease, get ahead of the game by taking good care of these areas during the tenancy.

If you’re intending to leave your property at the end of your agreement, it’s a good idea to ask for feedback on your most recent inspection so you can create a checklist to work through, in preparation for your final inspection.

Tip 5: Make your final inspection count

Your final inspection is effectively your last chance to make a good impression. You are welcome to attend the final inspection with your property manager. They will usually arrive before you to complete an uninterrupted inspection of the property, and will then take you through, giving you the opportunity to amend any issues before they are recorded in the PCR.

Don’t show up empty handed. Take your tool kit and cleaning supplies and be ready to address any issues on the spot, so they are not included in the report. Do your research when it comes to professional cleaners. The tenants are responsible for the services they hire and a receipt for work completed may not be sufficient if the property has not been cleaned to the standard set in the incoming PCR.

Final tips:

If you’ve changed your email address during your tenancy, it’s best to update your details with BondsOnline. Not only will this mean you get all communications needed, but you are more likely to get your bond back faster, avoiding any unnecessary complications.

Keeping receipts for professional carpet cleaning and/or fumigation (for pet-owners) is a requirement for some tenants. Make sure you check the lease agreement and see what services you are required to keep invoices for.

Have you been held up getting your bond back waiting for the final water reading to be taken? Your property manager may be waiting for the official water reading, to  lodge with the Water Corporation. As you vacate the property, take a photo of the water reading and send it to your property manager, who may use this instead to help speed up the process.

Sourced from REIWA