Moving on: What you need to know to get your rental bond back
Talking to a friend over the weekend, the subject of rental bonds came back.
She’s taking off overseas and is really counting on that money to help fund some of her adventures.
In this case, the rental bond – some call it a ‘rental deposit’ – is four weeks’ rent held in trust.
It’ll be returned to you as long as you don’t owe the landlord rent (she doesn’t) and you leave the property in a fit state. Jen hadn’t really thought about what was involved in getting her apartment cleaned to the standard the real estate agent would expect. In fact, she had totally overlooked that the lease stipulated the need to get carpets ‘professionally cleaned’. She was going to do a quick vac.
Thank goodness the topic of end of lease cleans came up!
A little extra can go a long way!
Recently I spoke to Elite Carpet Dry Cleaning’s Sheryl Lynn, who does countless end-of-lease cleans every year, about the importance of a thorough job.
“A quick flick around doesn’t cut it: a nitty-gritty clean is what’s needed,” said Sheryl, Elite’s Goondiwindi franchisee in south-western Queensland.
Sheryl says most landlords or real estate agents provide an end of lease checklist.
That ‘bond back’ checklist may include:
- washing walls
- cleaning the bathroom and kitchen thoroughly
- removing all rubbish properly
- removing cobwebs
- cleaning windows
- cleaning carpets.
Most letting agents and landlords will expect the carpet to be professionally cleaned. Read the fine print of your contract.
If you have a dog, the fine print is likely to call for a professional flea treatment too.
‘Professional’ is the key word. Landlords and real estate agents can tell the difference between DIY efforts and a professional job.
Many Elite Carpet Dry Cleaning franchisees offer a range of additional services on top of carpet cleaning – curtains, flea treatments and total cleans that leave the unit or house sparkling.
“People are increasingly time poor. They’ve a lot to think about with moving, not worrying about whether they’ve cleaned well enough,” Sheryl says.
“I’ll always ask the client what their budget is and give them an estimate of how long it will take to professionally wash, polish and buff the lot.”
Insider tips and tricks.
For those who think they can save some money doing the cleaning themselves and still get their rental bond back, Sheryl offers this ‘insider’ knowledge.
- Leave no shower scum on shower screens.
- Window tracks as well as the windows, must be spotless.
- Every light fitting needs to be cleaned – no dust, no spiders’ webs, no dead insects!
Be aware that ordinary ‘fair wear and tear’ in high traffic areas is usually accepted (particularly if you’ve lived in the house or unit for a few years). Cigarette burns and stains on the carpet are your responsibility and may incur penalties.
Professional carpet cleaning is often the last big job before final inspection, once the furniture has been removed and the surface cleaning is complete. Elite Carpet Dry Cleaning’s method removes most stubborn stains and provides a deep hygienic clean as well as a thorough vacuum and deodorise.