Can a Landlord Charge for Cleaning and Damages?
Vacating the rental property when your fixed-term lease agreement ends is stressful and cumbersome. You have to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and honour your tenancy terms to move out without disputes and get your bond back in full.
Getting a complete bond repayment is crucial for a tenant, as the bond amount is up to one month’s rent in Melbourne (Victoria) and can be higher when the weekly rent is over $900.
You have to keep and leave the rental property in good condition to claim the security deposit entirely. Most people hire professionals performing quality end of lease cleaning in Melbourne before the final inspection.
Additionally, cleanliness inadequacies and damages are serious contract breaches, which is why you must know your responsibilities as a tenant for maintaining the rental property.
If you are ending a tenancy soon, read on to know whether a landlord can charge for cleaning and damages. This guide also outlines tips for avoiding disputes and getting a complete bond refund.
Understand Your Responsibilities As A Tenant
A lease agreement is a legally binding contract, and you must abide by its terms and conditions. Before signing any rental contract, you must understand your responsibilities as a tenant and complete them to have a smooth tenancy.
Here are some things you should always keep in mind while living in a rental property,
- Bond paying tenants have the right to keep and edit the condition report at the start of the tenancy. Keep two copies of the entry condition report after the signatures of involved parties are complete to avoid disputes. This document is useful at the end of tenancy & you should keep it safe.
- Keep the rental property clean and sanitary to avoid damaging its surfaces and fixtures. Report immediately to the landlord if there is the development of mould, discolouration, decay or other hygiene issues due to seepage, leaks, or other issues out of your hands.
- Understand normal wear and tear. For example, fading of paint due to sun exposure is fair, but chipping of paint from intentional scraping is not fair.
- Maintain household hygiene to avoid pest infestations by ants, rats, cockroaches, etc.
- Live in the rental property reasonably and keep it in the same condition it was in when you moved in, excluding fair wear and tear.
Can A Landlord Charge For Cleaning & Damages?
Often tenants cannot claim their bond in full because the rental property is mouldy, damaged, pest-ridden or inadequately clean on the day of final inspection due to their negligence or incapability to meet their responsibilities.
In such circumstances, a landlord has the right to use the bond money to pay for professional end of lease cleaning Melbourne, pest control, mould remediation and property repairs.
However, to avoid losing your bond, you must take care of cleanliness and damage-related issues before ending the tenancy. Your proactive measures can avoid disputes, hassle and stress for you and your landlord.
Ask If Professionals Cleaned The Rental Property
People who started a rental agreement after 29, Mach 2019 must understand the extra requirements for professional cleaning according to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. A landlord cannot ask you to hire cleaners performing professional end of lease cleaning in Melbourne unless the following conditions apply.
- Professionals cleaning or cleaning of a professional standard was performed at the rental premises before the start of your tenancy, and you were in the know.
- The condition of the rental premises necessitates professional cleaning to return the property in the same clean condition it was in at the start of your tenancy.
Tips For Getting Full Bond Repayment & Avoiding Disputes
Know that a reasonably clean rental property doesn’t mean you have to make it more spotless and sanitary than it was before your tenancy started. You have to clean it enough to generally prevent dirt, dust, marks, stains, and cobwebs.
Additionally, do the following to strengthen your bond refund claim and avoid disputes.
- Follow a house cleaning checklist to maintain hygiene in your home and keep household members healthy.
- Inform your landlord immediately in case the rental property needs repairs, has mould or developed damage due to factors of not your making.
- Hire professional end of lease cleaners in Melbourne offering quality services & a bond back guarantee to avoid hassle and stress when moving out.
- Keep your pets clean and groomed. Get them treated for fleas and other pests.
- Prevent overgrowth of grass and weeds along the sidewalks that lead to complaints to the local council.
When you vacate a rental property, the stress and pressure of packing and moving your belongings already weigh on you. You must avoid disputes and complete your responsibilities as a tenant to end the lease agreement without disagreements with your landlord.
Additionally, take the assistance of professional end of lease cleaners in Melbourne to get your bond back in full and move out successfully.