As a landlord, you have to uphold several responsibilities. Of course, as with most things in the property management industry, there is specific legislation to protect your rights and your tenant’s rights.

Property damage.

You’re entitled to have your property returned to you in a clean and undamaged condition at the end of a tenancy. There is, however, a difference between deliberate damage caused by recklessness and neglect and fair wear and tear. Your tenant is not responsible for fair wear and tear on your property.

Conducting the final inspection.

As soon as possible, you or your property manager must:

Conduct a final inspection of the property.

Prepare the final condition report describing the condition of the property; and
Provide a copy of that report to the tenant.
You must give your tenant a reasonable opportunity to attend this final inspection. It’s in the best interests of both you and your tenant to undertake a joint inspection when they move out and arrange for the return of the property keys.

How to cost repairs.

You can hold your tenant liable for any wilful or neglectful damage they cause during their tenancy. However, unless your tenant has caused total havoc on your fixtures or fittings, it can be tough to determine what amount to charge for damages to contents. Generally speaking, if someone can reasonably repair the damage, only the repair costs can be charged.

If the damage is severe (i.e. carpet damage, which could require replacing), your tenant would be liable to pay for replacing the damaged carpet with one of similar quality to the original.

It can, however, be more difficult to assess burn marks or stains that you can’t remove. Consider factors like the age of your property and the size and location of the damage. Where possible, try to negotiate the sum of money deducted from the tenant’s bond as compensation.

Return of the keys.

At the end of the tenancy, your tenant is responsible for returning all sets of keys provided to them. If they don’t return the keys, you can hold them responsible for the cost of changing the locks or charge them rent until the keys are returned.

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