When a tenancy’s coming to an end, both landlords and tenants can help things go smoothly before and on the final day of the tenancy.
Showing potential tenants through the property
Often when a tenancy ends, the property will be rented again to new tenants. If the landlord wants to show potential tenants through, they must get the current tenant’s permission.
The tenant can’t unreasonably refuse this, but they can set reasonable conditions. For example, they may limit access to certain times of day or days of the week. They still have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their home.
Conducting the final property inspection
Landlords and tenants should arrange a time to do the final property inspection together. Most landlords will want to do a final inspection before they agree to refund the bond.
If possible, the final inspection should happen once the tenant’s moved all their belongings out and finished cleaning the property. If you can’t do the inspection together, you should each do your own. It’s a good idea to take photos.
Getting the bond refunded
The landlord should bring a bond refund form to the final inspection. The tenant can also bring one in case the landlord forgets.
Only sign the bond refund form if you agree with what’s written on it. A landlord shouldn’t ask a tenant to sign a blank form, and a tenant should never sign a blank form.
What landlords should do
- Tenancy days start and end at midnight. Don’t demand tenants to leave before midnight on the last day of a tenancy. Try to negotiate a time that works for both of you.
- Do a property inspection a few weeks before the final day of the tenancy. Then you can ask the tenant to sort out anything they need to before they leave.
- Let the tenant know (in writing) how much rent they still need to pay and what their responsibilities are at the end of the tenancy.
- Let them know there will be a final property inspection before the bond is refunded.
- Take copies of tenancy documents with you to the final inspection in case they’re needed. This includes:
- the tenancy agreement
- the initial property inspection report
- the rent summary.
- If the tenant leaves any items behind, photograph it and make a detailed list. Follow the correct procedure for dealing with abandoned goods.
- Allow time between tenancies for carrying out maintenance and any extra cleaning you may want to do.
What tenants should do
Keep all of your tenancy documents in a safe place. Having your tenancy agreement, property inspection reports, rent records and letters to or from the landlord handy may help if there’s a dispute at the end.
Pay everything you need to, and cancel any services
- Continue to pay the rent up to (and including) the final day of the tenancy.
- If you pay for water, record the water meter reading on the final day of the tenancy. Do this after you’ve moved everything out and have finished cleaning.
- Cancel any services you have connected to the property (eg, electricity, gas and internet).
Leave the place tidy, and take only what’s yours
- Remove all your belongings.
- Make sure you leave the property reasonably clean and tidy (inside and outside), and take away all your rubbish.
- Leave behind anything the landlord provided for you to use during the tenancy, such as furniture and appliances.
- Return all the keys to the landlord.
Leave your details with the landlord
- Give your forwarding address to the landlord, and to Tenancy Services. This means mail can be forwarded to you and you can be contacted about your bond.
- Ask the landlord if they’re willing to give you a reference.