Managing private rental properties
Information and links to assist landlords to manage their private rental properties. 12 essential processes and checklists to implement at the beginning, during and end of tenancy.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is of a general natural, highlighting processes, documents and laws to be aware of as a private landlord. It is your responsibility to look up the rental laws and rental documents relevant to your state/territory. Contact the appropriate rental authority for advice.
12 steps to manage a rental property
12 steps to manage your rental property. Managing your own rental property, deciding not to use the services of a property manager, means you accept 100% responsibility for the implementation of the legal requirements during the tenure of your property.
The 12 step renting process
1. Prepare property for tenants
Preparing your property for tenants is all about presenting your rental property to show off its features. At the end of the day you want your rental property to attract tenants who will respect your property. Whether tenants have just moved out, or you are about to rent out your premises for the first time, this is a great opportunity to consider the condition of your property. You want to do this for two reasons:
- to maximise possible rent
- to ensure you meet safety and property legislation requirements for rental properties.
Our article How to get your rental property ready for tenants provides a comprehensive checklist to prepare your property ready for renting.
Nature of repairs – taxation considerations
Before implementing any repairs, check with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and it’s guidelines for rental properties. Repairs and maintenance to a rental property can be classified as a repair, maintenance, initial repair, capital works or depreciating asset. It is important you seek professional advice to assist you with correctly classifying each repair, maintenance or improvement for tax purposes. The ATO provides a quick reference chart to assist you to understand repairs, maintenance and capital expenditure.
Landlord’s obligations for rental premises
While the rental legislation varies across the states and territories, there is a common theme requiring the landlord or lessor to:
- provide clean premises and inclusions which are fit for habitation, and in good repair
- ensure statutory obligations relating to health and safety have been met, this includes smoke alarms, swimming pools, spas, electrical switch boards, asbestos etc.
- ensure the rental property and inclusions comply with minimum housing standards.
Before entering into a tenancy agreement, ensure you have checked what obligations you are legally required to follow as a landlord. The links to rental guides for each state and territory in our rental documents page may also be of assistance.
2. Determine rent and bond
Median rent finders
In our article How to get your rental property ready for tenants we include information about determining your rent and bond. The process we suggest includes:
- researching median rents in the suburb and nearby suburbs for similar dwellings to your rental property
- comparing your rental property, its features, condition, size, with other rental properties
- determine a weekly rent based on this comparison, any additional rent above the weekly average should be justifiable based on the location, size, features and condition of the rental property.
Use the links below to find the median rent for your type of dwelling. Medium rent information from a reliable source could not be found for Tasmania and Canberra.
Setting a bond
Setting a bond for your rental property is not entirely up to you. Each state and territory has rules for determining the bond amount.
- The legislation will identify a maximum weekly rent amount or less where the bond amount is calculated by multiplying the weekly rent by 4. For example, in Queensland, The Residential Tenancies Authority states this amount is currently $700 per week (as at 30 July 2019).
- For weekly rents above the bond maximum rental amount, the homeowner (landlord) is usually free to negotiate with the tenant to set the bond at an amount they think is appropriate for the rental property. Some states and territories will have a maximum also set for bonds and other states have a flat rule of 4 weeks rent. For example, in NSW, Fair Trading, states that rental bonds cannot be more than 4 weeks rent (as at 30 July 2019).
- As a private landlord, you can also decide not to charge a bond. Generally, the legislation states, that if bond isn’t charged, then there is no obligation to complete the Entry/exit condition report.
- If you do set a bond, then you must follow the legislation in your state/territory for depositing the bond with the rental authority which is responsible for managing rental bonds. The rental authority will provide an online service for lodging the bond which you and/or the tenant can access. When a bond is set, then the entry/exit condition report relevant to your state/territory must be completed at the beginning and end of the tenancy as evidence to support any disputes about the bond refund to tenants.
3. Take great property photos to showcase your rental
As the saying goes:
A picture is worth a thousand words!
Spot the difference!
This photo is dark and doesn’t show any depth to the room. There is also some glare reflecting on the glass.
This professional photo maximises the size of the room and is very well lite.
Staging rooms to attract tenants
Enticing tenants to consider your rental property as their next home requires some bait. That bait is the images and the description presented in the advertisement.
Your images need to present your rental home at its best.
If you want tenants to like and share your rental property and help promote it organically on social media platforms, then it needs to look good.
Let’s face it, images of empty rooms don’t attract tenants.
Staging your property, maybe just one or two rooms is a worthwhile investment. However, while real staging may be more suitable for selling your home, virtual staging provides a cheaper and timely strategy for rental properties.
Virtual staging can be used to:
- enhance images
- insert virtual furniture into a room
- remove items in the room which are not wanted (e.g. tenant’s furniture)
- change the background from day, grey clouds to dusk, bright blue skies
- draw floor plans
Virtual staging software is targeted at real estate agents.
Some software providers include:
- VRX Staging
- Visual Stager
- Virtual Staging Lab.
Modifications to images must not mislead or deceive tenants. Fair Trading laws in each state and territory and Australian Consumer Law prohibits misleading advertising in relation to real estate. Learn more about laws relating to renting properties.
You need to provide a range of images including:
- the main living room/s
- the master bedroom
- another bedroom (if available)
- front of building
- outdoor area (back yard/balcony).
You may also want to include images of a pleasant view from the balcony or nearby shops or cafes. Make sure your images accurately represent the rental property.
Don’t include images which may confuse the tenant. This is misleading! For example, an image of a view of a beach taken from the top of the street, not the rental home.
4. Advertise rental
There are a range of online platforms available to advertise your rental property.
The cost, timeliness, searchability, accessibility and professionalism of the advertisement will depend on the platform you choose.
Some of the free platforms like Facebook or Gumtree have inferior search capabilities because they are generic platforms for a wide range of items for sale. They offer limited support services for users to shortlist and save preferences for searching properties.
The larger advertising platforms don’t always allow private home owners to advertise their rental property and you will need to go through a real estate agent to access their advertising platform. This can be expensive. Publishing is not always instant, and the agent has control of your advertisement.
RentEzy online advertising for rental properties
We offer online advertising for rental properties, start advertising for free choosing our free advertising package.
Our online rental advertisements are instantly published, it takes approximately 15 minutes to upload.
Your rental ad is comprehensive and linked to maps, directions and nearby places.
You can start advertising with our free advertising package. No lock in contracts or ongoing subscriptions.
Your rental advertisement can be updated and hidden as required.
You can reactivate your ad when a tenancy ends without needing to rewrite the ad.
There is no obligation to continue advertising.
Tenants can search, save, compare and share rental properties.
Tenants who sign up can contact you directly once signed in.
Getting tenants excited with your property description
Brief and uninteresting descriptions of rental properties is like cutting off your nose to spite your face!
You are advertising your rental property to attract tenants and to encourage them to contact you to organise an open inspection. If the rental market where your rental property is located is very competitive then you need to provide a detailed description to entice prospective tenants. The description needs to highlight the benefits and features of the property, assisting tenants to see themselves enjoying a life in their new home.
Write an informative and interesting description:
1. Highlight the greatest benefit of living in the home
This could include lifestyle, entertainment, enjoyment, social, professional or community opportunities.
2. Describe other benefits relating to the home
Describe other benefits gained from life in this rental home, in this building, in this location. This may include highlighting transport services, nearby schools, closest shops.
3. Detail features
List the features for the rental home. Highlight the essential features of the main rooms in the property. Also identify any parking, storage and security features available.
4. Lease, inspection and contact information
The last part of the description needs to highlight any lease information, e.g. inclusions and exclusions, how to organise open inspections, and how you want to be contacted.
Your descriptions need to be honest and accurate. Don’t over exaggerate the benefits or features. Be creative and interesting, but don’t lie!
Why? It’s called misleading advertising. For more information about laws relating to property advertising see rental laws.
5. Screen tenants
Screening tenants starts the moment you receive the first inquiry. You want to check the potential tenants could be suitable for your rental property.
Sample screening questions:
- When are you looking to move?
- How many people will be living in the home?
- Do you have any pets?
- Where do you work?
- Where are you currently living?
No point showing a rental property to potential tenants who require a home to sleep 5 people and your property is only a one bedroom studio, or who wants to move in two months and your property is available now.
Follow up at the open inspection continuing to ask a few more screening questions to determine if the potential tenants are suitable for your rental property. You can ask about smoking as it is a landlords right to not want people who smoke in their home. However, you can’t ask personal questions as that could be a case for discrimination. See our article on Screening tenants for detailed information about the screening process and discrimination laws. Find links to discrimination laws at rental laws.
6. Conduct open inspections
As a private landlord, you are responsible for organising and conducting open inspections with potential tenants. How you organise the open inspection will depend on whether your rental is currently tenanted or not!
How to conduct an open inspection when the rental property is vacant
If your rental property is empty, then you are in complete control. You have advertised your rental, and a few tenants whom you have screened would like to inspect the property. It’s up to you to organise a suitable time to show the potential tenants around the home.
Before conducting an open inspection:
- unlock doors and clear walkways ensuring the potential tenants can safely move throughout the rental property
- plan a route to walk with tenants during the open inspection, consider key features and benefits you want to highlight about the home.
During the open inspection:
- answer any questions asked by the potential tenants honestly and this may also include declaring any information which may impact the decision of the tenants
For example, the tenant asks: if the property has ever been broken into, does it contain asbestos, are you planning to sell the property soon, has it been in a flood?
- if there are any repairs to be completed you will need to identify when they will be finished and this will need to be documented in the lease agreement.
At the completion of the open inspection:
- ask the tenants if they would like to apply for tenancy and provide them with a tenancy application form, see rental documents for links to documents
- you may also want to ask them for feedback on the rental as they may highlight an issue with the rental property advertisement, rent price or property that you need to address.
How to conduct an open inspection with current tenants
If you are conducting an open inspection while tenants are still living in your rental property, then one of two things has happened:
- You have given notice to the tenant to leave, OR
- The tenant has given you, the landlord, notice that they intend to leave.
For more information about ending a tenancy see process end of tenancy.
When the rental property still has the current tenants living there, open inspections must be organised adhering to rental laws.The landlord must provide notice of entry in the appropriate time to the tenants. Generally you will only be able to do a maximum of two open inspections in a week. While conducting the open inspection, you will need to respect the tenant’s privacy and ensure security of their possessions.
Before the open inspection
The current tenants must be informed that you, the landlord, will be entering the premises to show the rental property to prospective tenants. Appropriate notice must be given to the current tenants and you must use the appropriate form to notify the tenants. See maintain property for more information about the process to give notice of entry. Find the correct form for your state/territory at rental documents and see rental laws to check the time required to give notice.
- give current tenants a notice of entry in the appropriate time using the correct document for your state/territory
- on the day and time of the open inspection
- knock on door and check if current tenants are home
- if tenants are not home you can still enter the premises as long as you have provided the appropriate notice for entry at this time
- inform tenants why you are there and seek permission to enter
- let the current tenants decide if they want to stay or leave during the inspection
- knock on door and check if current tenants are home
- unlock doors, turn on lights and check pathways are clear to walk tenants through the rental property.
During the open inspection
It is your responsibility to ensure the current tenants possessions are safeguarded.
- guide prospective tenants through the rental property highlighting features and benefits
- answer any questions with integrity and declare any information that will impact whether tenants would want to live in the home.
Finishing the open inspection
Ask if any of the prospective tenants would like to apply for the rental home. If so, provide an application form. See rental documents for sample application forms available in each state/territory.
If the current tenants were not home:
- leave a note or business card on the kitchen bench to indicate that you conducted the open inspection
- lock all the doors.
7. Collect rental documents
While organising open inspections and before selecting a tenant, the private landlord needs to collect a range of rental documents required for starting a new lease with the successful tenant/s.
In each state/territory the names of the documents and the laws around implementing the documents including the number of days for completing, storing or lodging them with the appropriate rental authority will vary.
Tenant application form
Use this form to collect information from the prospective tenant. Usually provided to the tenant at the end of the open inspection. Some states don’t have a standard document.
Important notes about implementing an application form:
- you can’t charge the tenant a fee for the application
- there must be no discrimination when selecting tenants
- it is not part of the tenancy agreement
- if you plan to use a tenancy database to screen tenants, you must ensure the tenant is notified with the application
- the information supplied by the tenant must be kept confidential.
For more information about rental documents for each state and territory see rental documents.
For more information about rental laws for each state and territory see rental laws.
Successful applicants, tenants, are provided with a tenancy agreement, which both the tenant and landlord will be required to sign. Each state and territory has its own general tenancy agreement, see rental documents for more information and links.
You will need to provide the tenant/s with a copy of the prospective tenancy agreement. The implementation of the tenancy agreement is very important, so be sure to check rental laws before starting a new tenant. You must know your responsibilities and the rights of the tenants for this process.
- the tenancy agreement must comply with the relevant rental law in your state/territory
- tenants can negotiate the length of the agreement (lease), how rent is paid, additional or special terms
- promised repairs need to be completed before tenants move in or you will need to document the repairs and dates to complete on the agreement.
An entry (exit) condition report identifies the condition of the rental property at the beginning of the tenancy. Both you, the landlord and the tenant must complete the form and sign it. It provides evidence if there are any disputes over the bond refund at the end of the tenancy.
- complete the entry condition report before meeting with the tenant to sign the tenancy agreement
- check off all items in the home and rate their condition (for example, clean, working, undamaged) and make additional notes where clarification is required
- have a signed copy of the condition report to give the tenant
- keep a copy for yourself.
For more information relating to the laws for implementing the condition report see rental laws.
For more information and links to entry/exit condition reports in each state/territory see rental documents.
Guide to renting for tenants
Most states/territories include legislation which require the landlord to provide a guide to renting to the tenant when the tenancy agreement is signed. In some states this can be provided as an electronic copy if the tenant has agreed to receive electronic notices and other documents.
For more information and links to renting guides for tenants see rental documents.
Security deposit/bond lodgement form
If you have decided to collect a bond for the rental property, you will need to know the rental laws relating to collecting and lodging the bond. Each state and territory will have different parameters for this process. For example, bonds are usually equal to 4 weeks rent, but the weekly rent amount relating to this varies. In Queensland 4 weeks bond applies to rents set at $700 or less while in Western Australia it applies to rents set at $1200 or less (correct as at 3/7/2019). More expensive rents usually have no limit to the allowable bond amount.
If a bond it collected, you must use the relevant security deposit or bond lodgement form and lodge it with the appropriate authority in your state or territory. Links to bond lodgement forms can be found at rental documents.
You will need to provide a receipt for the bond to the tenant/s and you are required to lodge it within a set number of days.
It is an offence if you do not record and lodge the bond appropriately.
Owners/body corporate rules and applicable by-laws
If the building where the rental townhouse, duplex, apartment, flat or unit is located is managed by a body corporate, then the tenant must be provided with a copy of the rules and by-laws for the building.
As the landlord, you should ensure during the signing of the tenancy that you discuss key rules that may impact the tenant and how they live in the rental home. For example, rules for using community areas, parking, visitors to the building and etc.
Check with the renting laws for your state or territory to clarify what is expected when providing body corporate information.
Other documents you may want to collect and provide to the tenant or have available at the rental property include:
- a list of emergency repair contact numbers, for example, plumber, electrician, lock smith, window repairer, pool maintenance and etc.
- warranties and operating instructions for any appliances fixed in the rental property, for example, induction stove, dishwasher, air conditioner, smoke alarms, pool filter and etc.
- receipts or reports relating to water efficiency, pool safety certification, smoke alarm compliance and etc.
8. Sign up tenants
As a private landlord you must give the tenant copies of the relevant documents after they are signed and checked by the tenant as well as other information and items the tenant is required to receive by law and to gain access to the rental property. The checklist for each state/territory will vary slightly.
A holding deposit may be allowed with conditions or illegal in your state/territory. For example, in the ACT, as a landlord you may not collect a holding deposit (Residential Tenancies Act 1997, Division 2.3 Consideration, Section 18 Holding deposits). While in NSW, a holding fee may be collected which does not exceed one week’s rent and the tenant’s application has been approved by the landlord (Residential Tenancies Act 2010, Division 1 Pre-arrangement matters, Section 24 Holding fees). Ensure as the landlord, you check with the appropriate rental law in your state/territory before asking for a holding deposit or fee.
Determine type of lease
The type of lease is important as it can impact the terms of the lease agreement. Ensure you check what type of leases are allowed in your state/territory, see rental laws. Generally there are two types of leases:
- fixed term lease with a set end date usually for 6 months to 12 months
- periodic leases are usually monthly with no end date, both tenants and owner/landlord can give notice to end at any time, they provide a lot of flexibility.
What utilities should tenants pay?
Usually, tenants will pay electricity, gas, phone and internet. Other charges may include water, solar power and pool chemicals, it really will depend on the type of rental property, the state or territory rental laws and whether the property has separate/individual metres measuring consumption of utilities.
Check the utilities you legally can ask the tenant to pay and document clearly in the appropriate sections of the lease agreement.
Overcharging for utilities is illegal. As a landlord you cannot profit from charging fees for the supply or maintenance of services, or for the time and labour required to read meters. Overcharging is an offence. Again it is important to know the rental laws for your state/territory.
General checklist for signing up a tenant
- Go through the tenancy agreement with the tenant/s, make alterations and additions as required including special/extra terms, both parties sign the agreement, copy of the signed agreement is provided to the tenant.
- Provide the tenant with a copy of the guide to renting for the state/territory.
- Provide a phone number for tenants to contact you for urgent repairs after business hours.
- Provide keys to all locks for the rental home, keep a record of the number of keys provided. You could photocopy the keys and label them and give a copy to the tenants and keep a copy for yourself.
- Two copies of the condition report (if bond is paid). The tenant will complete one and return it to you and the other copy is for their records.
- A bond lodgement form (if bond is paid) for the tenant to sign. You must lodge it with the appropriate authority. Find your relevant bond authority at rental authorities.
- A copy of the owners corporation rules (body corporate) if there is one for the building of the rental property.
Any special or extra terms added to the lease agreement must comply with the relevant rental laws in the state/territory. Inappropriate terms are not binding, void and penalties may apply.
9. Maintain rental property
Tenants right to quiet enjoyment
During the tenancy, as the landlord, you must respect your tenants’ privacy and right to live quietly at the rental home.
In Queensland, a Gympie landlord has been fined $3000 for unlawfully entering his tenants’ acreage rental property and interfering with their quiet enjoyment of their rental.
However, you have the right to enter the premises for a range of reasons which may include:
- to conduct inspections
- to comply with relevant fire and safety laws
- show the property to prospective tenants/buyers
- you suspect the property has been abandoned
- to value the property
- to check tenants have remedied a breach.
Again, the exact range of reasons will depend on the rental laws in your state/territory. This will also determine the rental document/s you will use to notify tenants before entering the premises and the amount of notice required to give tenants. As a landlord you must adhere to the rules for entering your rental property when it is tenanted.
Before entering the rental property
- Check the reason you would like to enter the rental property is legal. This can be checked with the appropriate rental authority or rental laws.
- Find the correct form you need to use to notify the tenant that you are going to be entering the rental property, for example an Entry notice is used in Queensland.
- Implement the form providing the required amount of time for the reason you are entering. Usually the entry form will state how much notice must be provided. Depending on the reason the amount of notice can range from none to 24 hours to 7 days. Check with the rental laws in your state/territory if unsure.
In some cases, entry is conditional on other processes being implemented first. For example, if conducting an open inspection, then either you, the landlord, has given a notice to leave to the tenant, or the tenant has indicated they intend to leave. The appropriate rental document must be used to provide the notice and adhering to the appropriate implementation time.
Remember penalties apply for unlawful entry to a rental property even if you are the owner.
Maintaining a good relationship with tenants starts with being reasonable. The rental laws require that entry takes place at a reasonable time for tenants. This generally includes not entering premises on Sundays, public holidays and out of hours (for example, before 8 am and after 6 pm in Queensland and after 8 pm in New South Wales). Check with the rental laws in your state/territory.
Being flexible and reasonable with tenants can go a long way to building a good relationship with tenants. You don’t want to lose a good tenant because of a poor relationship.
While you are required to follow the rental laws, the same as a property manager, as a private landlord, you have the opportunity to be more flexible and considerate, to build a positive relationship with tenants, and to keep good tenants in your rental property.
10. Process requests for repairs
Accepting there will be repairs
It is normal in all properties where people live for things to wear and require repair. Regardless of how good your tenants are, during the tenancy, the rental property will need some sort of maintenance.
“A termite nest suddenly appeared under the fence bordering with a neighbour. We notified the owner immediately, who organised for a pet inspection and for the termites to be killed. While the pet inspector was here it was decided he would treat the outside of the house as it hadn’t been sprayed for over two years. The owner was billed and we are happy to not have an ant problem any more and the termites luckily didn’t do any damage.”
Building good relationships with your tenants will build trust. You want tenants to notify you as soon as there is an issue with your property. This will enable you to quickly deal with the wear and tear or damage when it first appears, rather than later, when the cost to fix it could be more expensive.
Landlord’s insurance – not for normal wear and tear!
If your rental property is covered by Landlord’s insurance, be aware that normal wear and tear damage is probably an exemption in your insurance policy. When taking out Landlord’s insurance check the policy thoroughly. See our article 6 essentials for first time private landlords discussing landlords insurance and links to insurance advice sites.
Checklist for maintenance and routine repairs
- Tenant contacts you in writing (email) that a routine repair is required. Tenants may telephone if you have agreed or asked the tenant to call when repairs are needed. However, you should document the contact received and the request.
- It is your responsibility as the landlord to organise for the repair to be fixed in a reasonable amount of time.
- You organise an appropriate service provider to make the repair.
- You must provide notice to the tenant with the appropriate notice, usually 24 hours, using the appropriate notice of entry form.
- You can also organise a follow up inspection to check the quality of the repair. Again you will need to provide notice to the tenant before entering the property.
Dealing with emergency repairs
Emergency repairs are exempt from providing a minimum notice of entry. Check the rental laws for what represents an emergency.
- The tenant will contact the emergency repairer you listed when the tenancy agreement was signed. Or the tenant will contact you to organise for the repair to be fixed.
- If the tenant cannot contact you or a nominated repairer they may need to organise with another service provider for the repair to be made.
- If the tenant has to pay for the repair, you will be required to refund the cost to the tenant. This will need to be done within the allocated time after receiving the receipt (usually 7 days).
11. Resolve disputes
Disputes usually arise when one party, either you, the landlord, or the tenant breaches the tenancy agreement. This means the rules or requirements of the tenancy agreement are not followed. There are many reasons for disputes, but generally it is either ignorance or a lack of integrity displayed by one or both parties relating to the implementation of residential tenancy laws.
Open and honest communication and a clear understanding about each other’s responsibilities and rights can go a long way to assist to avoid a dispute. It is better for both parties if you can resolve the dispute fairly without needing to go to the appropriate authority which will take time and may cost money.
Know the process to follow
Regardless of whether you are initiating the dispute or the tenant is, it is important you are aware of the processes involved to resolve the dispute.
You, the landlord, will need to know:
- the rental authority or state tribunal who handles that type of dispute
- the document/s to lodge for this type of dispute to be processed
- the processes and actions the authority will implement to process the dispute
- the fees, charges, penalties and time which may be involved when the dispute is processed and settled by the appropriate authority.
Some situations will not be suitable for reconciliation by the rental authority in your state or territory and may be required to be processed with another authority, for example, a state tribunal or federal body if the matter relates to federal legislation.
It will be important to research thoroughly the processes involved with the appropriate authority and to seek their advice.
12. Process end of tenancy
When a tenancy ends a process needs to be put into place to ensure that rental laws are adhered to and that you and your tenants meet the terms of the tenancy agreement in finalising the tenancy.
Giving notice to end a lease
Regardless of who gives notice, each state/territory will have a suggested notice of ending tenancy form for tenants to use to give landlords notice of terminating a lease, and for landlords to use to give tenants notice of terminating a lease. The period of notice required will depend on the type of lease, whether it was a periodic or fixed term lease.
There are many reasons a tenant or landlord may decide to end a tenancy agreement, during or at the end of the tenancy agreement period. It is important that you as the private landlord are aware of the legal reasons for a tenancy agreement being terminated. Refer to the rental laws in your state/territory relating to giving notice to end a residential tenancy.
The lease may be terminated by other parties or for a range of other reasons depending on the circumstances. This may include early termination because of domestic violence, death of a tenant, abandonment of the property, a court order terminating the agreement by the appropriate authority, and so on. As the landlord, you will need to be aware of your obligations and rights during these atypical termination situations.
Final inspection and condition report
When the tenants have vacated, it is your responsibility as the landlord to conduct a final inspection of the rental property, completing an exit condition report. The timelines for completing this process needs to be checked with the rental laws in your state/territory. The tenant may be required to be present or have the opportunity to be present. For example in Section 30A in the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 in the Australian Capital Territory it states that both parties (the tenant and the lessor) should complete the final inspection together. And that both parties should complete and sign the condition report. However, a party may complete and sign the condition report in the absence of the other party if the party has given the other party a reasonable opportunity to be present when the report is completed and signed.
The bond is returned in full when tenants have paid all the rent required, vacated the home, cleaned and left the premises in good repair (accepting normal wear and tear), and returned the rental’s keys. However, when rent is in arrears, property or inclusions are damaged, the property is unclean, possessions are left behind, and other reasons specified by the relevant Residential Tenancies Act, you, the landlord, may have a case to make a claim against the bond money.
Bond refunds can be claimed by the landlord, tenant or both the landlord and tenant using the appropriate form. See links to rental documents in your state/territory. The exit condition report will provide important evidence and information to support any claims made against the bond. As a landlord you will need to obtain or keep appropriate documents including quotes, estimates, invoices or receipts as evidence of work required to repair the rental property as a result of any damage caused by the tenant or their associates.
You can’t claim more than the bond money. The tenant will require appropriate notice and evidence of any claims you plan to make against the bond money. It is critical you check the legislation and follow the guidelines for making a claim.
The claim for bond is lodged with the appropriate rental authority in your state/territory. Even if the bond is paid to you or the tenant, either party can take further action through the appropriate authority which deals with bond disputes.