What to expect at the end of a residential tenancy agreement

While we hate to see you go, sometimes tenants do leave us – whether they’re moving to a different apartment or buying their first home.

We take a look at the formal processes for final inspections, condition reports and bond returns.

Final inspection

At the end of a residential tenancy agreement, an agent/ lessor must carry out a property inspection ideally with the tenant present, according to the Residential Tenancy Agreement 1997.

Many tenants worry unnecessarily about these final walk-throughs. As long as you review your ingoing condition report and look to return the property in substantially the same condition to when you moved in, you should have a successful final inspection.  Agents and Landlords use these inspections to document the condition of the property for the bond refund process as well as to access the property for any repairs that need to occur before new tenants move in.

Condition report

The agent/landlord will complete a condition report based on the final inspection which should be reviewed with you (the tenant) at the end (if not during) the final inspection.  This document will be considered when the landlord decides about bond deductions, so make sure you’re there to share your insights.

Bond return

Once the report is finalised and the inspection has passed, it’s time to apply for bond release – this can be a full refund to tenant or part refund to tenant with some funds going to the agent if there are claims to be made . Depending on your circumstances, this can be done by the lessor, the tenant or both parties together.

There are a handful of reasons a lessor may be entitled to deduct from the bond paid under the residential tenancy agreement, including (but not limited to) :

  • The reasonable cost of repairs beyond fair wear and tear;
  • The reasonable cost of securing the property if tenant doesn’t return keys; and
  • Rental arrears.

As a tenant, be sure to consult the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 to ensure bond deductions are fair and justified.

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