Thursday 29 May 2014

When do I get my bond back?

When do I get my bond back?

At Real+ we often like to take a moment to think about things from the tenants perspective. This allows us to not only improve the property management process to make things as streamlined and easy for us as possible, but also gain a greater perspective of understanding when communicating and dealing with tenants.

This week I took a moment to think about things from the tenants perspective at the time of vacate, final inspection and bond refund.  I took a moment to think back to the times I have myself vacated from a property, what my expectations were compared to what happened, and then put that into perspective as to how I had handled vacating tenants as a property manager. This vacate stage seems to be one property management function that is handled quite differently from agent to agent.

Some questions I felt went unanswered as a tenant (despite my own property management knowledge, and the receipt of a generic vacate letter) were around when they planned to show prospective tenants through the property, whether I was supposed to drop the keys to their office, when I would be meeting them for the vacate inspection, and most importantly (the most common frustration of tenants and hardest things for a property manager to guarantee):
  • How long would it be until my bond was refunded?

Most tenants are relying on and budgeting on that money for some purpose so understandably they get frustrated when it’s not as easy as keys back, bond back. As a property manager, I know I couldn’t guarantee a time frame for the tenant as to when they would get their bond back, it depended on whether they’d returned the property in good condition, if it was clean, if extra work was required, if all the keys were returned, how quickly the landlord confirmed it wass okay to release the bond etc. So many variables.

If we can’t 100% guarantee the time frame, what can we control? How can we avoid an angry tenant at the vacate inspection? Well not only can we control how we communicate the process, but also how we provide expectations to the tenant across the vacate process. This will help alleviate some frustrations. Often we know what the process is and what the tenant can do to ensure they have the best chance of a speedy bond refund, however we are not communicating this to them each time.

Next time instead of sending out the generic vacate letter, why not provide the tenant with an outline of the process and what steps they can take to ensure their bond is refunded as quickly as possible! We have created a handy checklist you can provide to your tenants when they are vacating called the “How to ensure a Speedy Bond Refund Tenant Checklist,” click here for your copy.

If you are Real+ member, click here to visit Real TV where you can watch our webinar on Condition Reports!

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