What to do when your lease ends
Moving can be a difficult and burdensome process – particularly if you’re vacating a rental property.
If your lease date is approaching and you’re thinking of leaving for good, consider the following tips to ensure your move is as easy and stress-free as possible.
March 28th, 2014
Read your rental agreement and plan ahead
If you haven’t read your lease agreement since you moved in, it’s probably a good idea to brief yourself and use the information to help plan any future dates and times concerning your vacation. Most lease agreements contain important details regarding what to do when the lease term ends; including notice periods, expiry dates and conditions for prolonging your stay.
A good idea is to prepare a calendar checklist, outlining all critical dates, tasks and decisions. Check items off as they are completed to help keep you on track throughout your move.
Advise your landlord
Provide your landlord with both written and verbal notice of your intentions before your lease ends. Be sure to keep a copy of your written notice in case a dispute arises in the future.
Most lease agreements specify a notice period. This notice period can be different depending on your situation, so always read your agreement to avoid paying extra rent after you leave.
Contact your utilities and service providers
Once you’ve decided on your moving date, contact your utilities and other services providers and agree on a date to turn off any services in your name. If possible, have the company send out a written confirmation of this decision, including the service expiry date.
Clean the property
If you’re hoping to have your bond returned, then it’s in your best interests to leave the property as clean as possible. Whether you choose to do it yourself, or hire a company, just remember the cost of any extra cleaning the landlord requires will be deducted from your bond.
Try to remove any staples, nails and hooks stuck to any walls, ceilings or doors. Also, look to remove any scuff marks on walls, doors and floors. These areas are often forgotten during the cleaning process, and will definitely work in your favour if checked.
If you’ve committed to some renovation jobs throughout your stay, inquire as to whether the changes need to be reverted. It could be cheaper to hire yourself, rather than your landlords services.
Make a list of any damages
Prepare a list of any property damages that occurred during your tenancy. Also include a list of any damages that existed before you moved in. Be sure to include photos and or videos as part of your descriptions. It’s a advisable to discuss the contents of the lists with your landlord and have each signed off by both parties. Documenting this sort of information can prevent your landlord or the apartment body from claiming any additional fees for damages you’re not responsible for.
Be aware the costs associated with any repairs will be deducted from your bond, so it’s better to be honest and detailed with your descriptions to ensure the bill reflects an accurate amount.
Organise an inspection
When the property is clean, organise a walk through inspection with yourself and your landlord. During the inspection, point out any damages that you may be responsible for (as recommended above).
The inspection details should be signed off by you and your landlord. Again, keep a copy of the form as future evidence.
The inspection may also serve as a good time to pass on your new address and phone number to your landlord should any questions arise regarding the property, or for future referrals.
Return your keys
Make sure you return all sets of keys to the property. Some landlords will charge fees for each day you keep the keys past the due date.
Claim your bond
Before you move on, discuss with your landlord how your bond will be divided. Most renting agencies will provide the necessary forms you should complete in order to claim your bond.
Be sure the quoted bond payment takes into account the agreed cost of damages and any extra charges (e.g. cleaning). Once your bond is processed, payment should be returned within 2 to 3 business days.
If you require any further information on what to do when your lease ends, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at CBS Property Group.
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