Vacating a property is often a stressful time for tenants – not only are you likely moving to a new home, but you’ve also got a long list of tasks to complete to ensure the appropriate condition of the home you’re leaving. Among all of these objectives, ensuring a full bond refund is often front of mind for outgoing tenants. In this guide, we detail the steps you can take to maximise your chances of a full refund and explore your rights and responsibilities as a tenant in Western Australia.
Property Condition Report
You will be provided with an in-going Property Condition Report (PCR) at the commencement of your lease. This document details the condition of the premises and any existing damage prior to your tenancy. At the end of your lease, an outgoing PCR will be prepared, and the results will be compared to the in-going report. As such, it’s important to go through the in-going report at the start of your tenancy to ensure it encompasses all existing issues and/or concerns. Otherwise, these discrepancies may be attributed to you at the end of your lease. You have seven days from the start of your lease to complete the PCR and return it with any points of disagreement marked down to your property manager. It is also important to review the in-going PCR prior to vacating to ensure that you have left the property in the same condition as you found it.
Final inspection guide
When vacating the property, it’s important to bear in mind the content of the property manager’s final inspection guide, as this document will explicitly detail their expectations around the outgoing condition of the property. Common areas of focus include guidance around cleanliness, the condition of applicable fittings, fixtures, furniture, and appliances, and any required professional cleaning services.
Cleaning and maintenance checklist
In some cases these may be separate documents, but generally speaking, the content of your final inspection guide and the cleaning and maintenance checklist will be very similar. If they are separate documents, make sure to read through both and use the checklist to guide your final move-out clean. It’s important to note all elements of the checklist, as there may be items that you weren’t anticipating, such as professional cleaning requirements or garden maintenance activities. It may be too late to attend to these issues after vacating the property, especially if a new tenant is already set to move in. If this occurs, the cost of rectifying the issues will be taken from your bond.
After reviewing the cleaning and maintenance checklist and the PCR and ensuring compliance with their requirements, it’s time to return the keys and any other relevant property, such as garage remotes or security fobs, to the property manager. Make sure to leave a forwarding address and up-to-date contact information so they can easily contact you about the bond, the outgoing PCR, and any money that is due.
The bond disposal must be agreed between the outgoing tenant and the property manager. Also, the bond disposal form must be approved by the same parties that approved the lodgement form. If this is not possible, a court order must be obtained from the Magistrates Court. The main basis on which the proposed disposal will be calculated is the comparison between the ingoing and outgoing PCR. If there is a dispute, the first step is to review the two PCR documents and seek advice from Consumer Protection. If consulting these resources does not resolve negotiations, the matter may need to be taken to the Magistrates Court for resolution.
Are you a tenant with Access Property Management? You can find more helpful resources here.