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How to ensure your bond is returned to you in full

By Catherine Rayward

Renting a home can be a great option for all sorts of situations. Maybe you’re particularly mobile and rarely stay in one place for long, are a student and have need of group accommodation for yourself and some friends, or simply aren’t able or willing to consider home ownership.

There are a lot of upsides, but there’s a necessary evil that comes along with all houses for rent – paying the bond. Core Logic RP Data statistics from April 2015 show that rental supply in Australia is on the rise, but the market is still competitive, and maintaining a good tenant reputation is still important. To ensure you keep your landlord happy and get your bond back when it’s time to end your tenancy, there are a couple of simple tips you can follow.

Remember, as a tenant the bond is your money to lose.

Keep up with cleaning

There’s nothing worse than realising you have an upcoming landlord inspection when you haven’t kept on top of cleaning in your house. We’ve all found ourselves in a mad flurry of dusting, vacuuming and mopping, but there is an easier way! Just be sure to clean regularly, and stick to a schedule.

No-one really likes to live in a messy house. Massey University’s September 2015 NZ Residential Market report suggests that, due to shortages in the market, people are tending to stay in their rental accommodation for longer periods. Keeping up with your cleaning responsibilities is an easy way to ensure a more pleasant home life, and a happier landlord come inspection time.

Stick to the agreement

Everything that is required of you as a tenant is laid out in your tenancy agreement, alongside the obligations of your landlord. Being fully aware of everything in that document is another simple way to understand precisely what’s expected of you, so when your final inspection rolls around make sure you’ve been through the agreement carefully, and are satisfied that everything on your side checks out.

Remember, as a tenant the bond is your money to lose, but having the full amount returned to you need not be a source of stress.If there is a disagreement over something in the agreement, don’t be afraid to dispute if you are confident you’re in the right. The legislation may slightly differ depending on where you live – there is a standard agreement in NZ, but each Australian state has its own nuances – so make sure you’re across any specifics in your area. Your real estate agent will be able to fill in any pockets of detail that you’re unsure of.

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