A renter’s guide to safeguarding their bond

Subscribe to our channel

Start your property search now

Browse listings
4 min read

Whether you’re finally ditching the flatmates for your very own studio apartment or you’ve just purchased your first starter home, attempting to get your full bond refund is always a daunting task. In fact, according to the NSW government, about half of renters lose some or all of their bond when they decide to end their lease.

Seeing stats like these, we felt we needed to help make a difference to renters’ hip pockets. To avoid ever having to head to a NSW Fair Trading tribunal to dispute your bond claim, check out our advice to avoid common pitfalls when it comes to getting your full bond back.

The initial condition report matters

Many renters place a lot of emphasis on the final inspection, but what can often make the most difference is taking the time to diligently fill out the initial condition report.

When first moving in, document the condition of the property on a room by room basis, filling in the necessary fields with as much detail and accuracy as possible. Potential tenants will often forego mentioning minor damages or obvious wear and tear for the sake of speeding up the rental process. But more often than not, these minor issues become the very disputes that tenants and real estate agents disagree on.

By diligently filling out the report and taking photographs to serve as evidence for cleaning, damage or missing items, tenants and real estate agents have common ground that they can base their final inspection on.

Empty out the furniture

Have you ever tried showering with clothes still on? How about vacuuming without picking up the toys first? Of course not. The same logic applies for moving out of a rental property. You’ll want to empty your entire apartment or house before attempting a thorough vacate clean.

Many renters are caught off guard by the mess they leave behind after a big move. From the dust bunnies hiding under the couch to crumbs in the back of the pantry or to a stack of mouldy magazines forgotten in the garage, there are more than a few places that can be overlooked during the lifetime of a tenancy. Emptying your home gives you the chance to easily address all these issues that would otherwise slow you down during your bond clean.

If you’re looking to hire removalists, check out our handy Guide to Finding the Right Moving Company before you make that decision.

 For rent: 112 Curtis Road, Balmain, NSW For rent: 112 Curtis Road, Balmain, NSW

Don’t forget the outdoors

While most of your time will be spent focusing your energy indoors, your rental agreement will also require that your outdoor areas be well maintained. For the lucky few in Sydney, that usually means a wonderfully lush garden or a refreshingly cool swimming pool.

You’ll need to mop your balcony, mow the lawn, weed the garden, trim hedges, and if you have pets, double-check that they didn’t leave behind any nasty surprises. With some basic landscaping skills, you can ensure that your garden is more than presentable. Swimming pool owners will also need to remove any dirt, debris and algae from the pool and filters.

Your landlord will walk the entire length of the property to ensure that it wasn’t neglected and a beautifully maintained garden and swimming pool will leave a lasting impression that you were a model tenant. As tenants, keeping these tasks in your regular maintenance schedule will prevent a big backlog of work needing to be undertaken when you move out.

 For rent: 146 Cowles Road, Mosman, NSW For rent: 146 Cowles Road, Mosman, NSW

Use a bond cleaning checklist

You wouldn’t have to worry about forgetting the outdoors if you had an end of lease cleaning checklist. Most real estate agencies will provide tenants with a comprehensive room-by-room guide on how to return the property in its original condition. An end of lease cleaning checklist will take the guesswork out of what your agent is looking for and will also ensure that you don’t miss anything important.

Build a good relationship with your agent or property manager

A real estate agent or property manager works on behalf of the owner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get on their good side. With the fate of a full bond refund in their hands, building a rapport with them could be the deciding factor on how critical they are during the final inspection.

You’ll have more than a few chances to meet with your agent. From the first open house to a routine property inspection, take every opportunity to make their lives a little bit easier and they’ll hopefully return the favour.

Immediately informing them of any damage or pressing maintenance issues that could become worse (mould growth, leaky plumbing, etc.), always paying the rent on time, and working around their schedules will help them see you in a favourable light when the time comes to make a decision about whether your vacate clean is up to scratch.

Well there you have it, our tips to safeguard your rental bond initially, during and after you move out. If you’re looking for more moving resources, check out 10 things to do when moving to a new home and your moving and packing survival kit.

Start your
property search now

Browse listings

Share this article

This is Neat Cleaning
This article was written by This is Neat Cleaning, a bond cleaning service keeping tenants, real estate agents and property managers happy all across Sydney and Melbourne. Moving homes is stressful enough and with their famous bond back guarantee, all you'll need to worry about is packing.

Similar articles

Find the
latest properties
to hit the market

Over 300,000 properties to choose from in the Homely app for iPhone and Android.

The best way to find homes!”
-Homely app reviewer

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play


Homely is an internationally acclaimed real estate portal helping millions of Australians each year to find their next home for sale or for rent. Check out our suburb reviews and local Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Subscribe to our newsletter

For the latest articles and updates, sign up here!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at [email protected].


  1. My agent was so picky with my clean that it wasn’t worth trying to fight it. The amount of time wasted trying to get my bond back was really a nightmare and I hated that I had to let it go, but moving was already so so stressful. Will definitely try to document every little detail the next time i move in tho.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here