In our last blog, we wrote about our top 10 tips to make sure you get your bond back. Here’s part two, with our next 10. Whether you are buying a property, selling a property, renting to tenants or renting a property – be it a Christchurch rental property or further afield – these are a useful set of maintenance tips, essential at any stage of a property handover. Stay tuned for our next blog for property owners, about how to ensure you property stays well maintained, even when you are renting it out.
Cowdy’s top 20 rental property tips to make sure you get your bond back – part 2
11. Empty the vacuum cleaner bag
This one may seem obvious, but there’s nothing worse than realising you just wasted half an hour vacuuming pointlessly as the bag is full.
12. Wipe down condensation daily
Condensation, especially in winter, can be a major cause of mould and damage to your curtains and windowsills, not to mention your health. Try to wipe down the windows and open them up for a half hour or so (even when its cold) to prevent mould from accumulating.
13. Wash the shower curtain
Shower curtains easily get mould stains on them, especially if your bathroom isn’t well ventilated. At the end of your lease (and more frequently if possible) you should wash your shower curtain. If you’re worried about the washing machine (don’t forget to remove the hooks) you can just soak it overnight with some washing powder, and make sure to hang it out in the sun to dry.
14. Sweep up leaves and outdoor rubbish
It’s easy to focus on the indoor cleaning, but you shouldn’t neglect outdoor areas. Being the first thing your landlord sees when inspecting your property, outdoor areas are pretty important to keep clean. Make sure all rubbish has been completely removed from the property (not just stored outside) and sweep up any leaves.
15. Wash windows inside and out
It’s easy to forget or put in the too-hard basket. However, washing windows is just as important as the inside and you should make an effort where you can reach them or engage a window cleaner.
16. Check all light bulbs are functioning
Make sure all the light bulbs are working at the end of the tenancy. Light bulbs have a limited lifespan and are your responsibility to replace when they stop working. Note issues with the socket or fitting should be raised with your property manager/landlord.
17. Get spare keys made
Some landlords will charge a hefty fine for losing your keys. The same goes if you lock yourself out after hours and need to call in a locksmith. If you think you’re at risk, get some spares made in advance. However, you should always check with your landlord that making copies is OK – some landlords use keys that copies can’t be made from.
18. Invest in some good quality cleaning products
You need to do a really good job of cleaning the place at the end of the lease, otherwise you’re going to end up having to fund a professional cleaning company to come in and do it again. It’s therefore worthwhile to invest in top quality cleaning products that are going to do the job well. On the shopping list should be:
- Oven cleaner
- Carpet stain remover
- Glass/window cleaner
- Toilet cleaner
- Surface cleaner
- Shower cleaner (you made need an anti-calcium deposit cleaner)
- Surface specific cleaners e.g. stainless steal, ceramic oven top
- Odour removers if necessary
- Floor specific cleaners e.g. for tiles, wooden floors
Consumer Magazine has a good collection of product-by-product ratings. If in doubt, it’s a good idea to ring the landlord or property manager for a recommendation.
19. Work with your landlord throughout the year
Landlords also have maintenance responsibilities for the property too.
Collaborate with them throughout the year to ensure they meet those responsibilities and can anticipate an issue before it becomes huge, e.g. get them to clean the gutters before you have a leak.
Heating and cooling systems generally require ongoing maintenance to clean filters, and they are responsible for clearing fallen wood or trees. Keep an eye out for our next post about what landlords can do to keep their property in good condition, so you can collaborate with them to ensure they get the job done.
20. Know where to get help and advice if there’s still a dispute
Ultimately, despite your best efforts, sometimes things can still be disputed. The landlord doesn’t have to have all the power, or the final say. Instead, you can go to the Tenancy Tribunal to have any lasting disagreements mediated and a fair resolution struck. Ideally though, if you’ve kept the place in good condition and done a thorough cleaning job, the end of the tenancy will roll over smoothly, and you’ll get your bond back.
If you’d like any further tips or advice on keeping your property in good condition, get in contact. Whether it’s the right cleaning product or information on what you can expect during an inspection, we’re happy to help.