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Leaving your rental property

When vacating a rental property, upon or beyond expiry of the lease, 21 days written notice before the date on which you intend to return possession of the premises is required. If you have a fixed term tenancy, which has not yet expired, breaking your lease is an option, this however can involve considerable expense, however, you may be able to negotiate exit terms with your manager or landlord. If your lease is due to expire and you do not wish to renew, 21 days written notice prior to the expiry of your lease is appreciated, so advertising for the new tenants can commence to minimise the vacancy period.

In preparing to leave, make sure that the property is left in the best possible condition, here are a few areas that special attention should be paid to;

  • Carpets to be professionally cleaned (receipt to be kept), walls wiped, skirting boards and door frames dusted, light fittings checked and all globes to be in working order, exhaust fans cleaned, windows and fly screens should also be cleaned.
  • Pay particular attention to the stove, oven and griller in the kitchen, as this catches many people out.
  • Upon vacating the property, it is the responsibility of the vacating tenant to arrange final meter readings and disconnection of the electric, gas and phone services, as well as an Australia Post re-direction of mail to their new address.
  • At the end your tenancy, it is essential that the tenancy be finalised with a property inspection from the agent or landlord using the PCR (property condition report) from the start of the tenancy. As a tenant you are responsible for returning the property back in the condition it was in at the beginning of the tenancy.
  • If the property is showing any signs of neglect and requires any maintenance or additional cleaning after the keys have been returned, the cost may be deducted out of the bond.

If the above areas are all covered, then there should be no problems with the release of the full Bond amount.

REMEMBER: Don't ever be persuaded into signing a Blank "Joint Application for Disposal of Bond Monies" form, ensure the form is completely filled out and the figures are all correct and agreed upon.   

Your Bond is held as security against a property for any damage or undue wear & tear.  The bond will be refunded promptly after vacating, provided the property is left in as close as possible to the condition as when your tenancy commenced and there are no monies owing. The bond is not intended to be used for rent, when vacating you must continue to pay rent until the vacate date and/or date keys are returned.

How your lease should have ran

A Property Condition Report (PCR) is a detailed report that's carried out at the commencement of a tenancy prior to a tenant moving in. This report outlines the condition of the property, and is used when the tenant vacates to ensure that the property is left in the same condition. As a tenant, ensure you receive a copy within a week of moving into the property and check through making additions as noted, or alternatively disputing any items that have been over or understated.

During the tenancy the property should be kept clean and tidy. Any damage or routine repairs should have been reported to agent/ landlord as they arose. Repairs and maintenance due to fair wear and tear is the landlord's responsibility, however if the fault is due to negligence on the tenants' part, the tenant will be held responsible for the repair costs. It is common practise that agents/ landlords will not accept responsibility for the payment of accounts for any repairs undertaken without prior approval.

Tenants aren't allowed to put up posters or additional picture hooks to the walls, or carry out any alterations/ additions or repairs to the premises without first receiving written consent.  This can become an issue at the final inspection, you may become responsible for the costs to rectify any problems arising from this. When renting a property that includes lawns and gardens, you are required to maintain them and keep them tidy and free from debris, unless a gardening service was included in lease terms. This includes regularly watering and mowing the lawn, keeping edges trimmed and regular weeding of garden beds.  Household rubbish (empty bottles, cardboard cartons etc.) and garden debris should not accumulate around the property. Should the gardens need to get any attention to return them to their former glory, this should be started well before you need to vacate.



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