Do you want to save hundreds of dollars by taking a few photos?

When you move into a rental property from a real estate agent, you should be given a Condition Report. This lists each room in the house and states whether things are clean and working, e.g., carpets, lights, and oven. Most real estate agents are lazy and sometimes a bit dishonest, when it comes to the condition report and will say that everything is clean and working. You will have seven days to make any corrections, saying where things are dirty or broken. If it is at all possible, complete your Condition Report before you move your things in. Test every power point, every light, and stove/oven. Check that the underside of the blinds, the inside of the oven, and light covers, are clean. If you do not state that something was dirty or broken in your correction of the Condition Report, you will be responsible for getting it cleaned or fixed, regardless of whether it was dirty and broken when you moved in. So report it, even if you don’t care whether it is clean or working.

If you are renting from someone other than a real estate agent, you probably will not have a condition report. Instead, you can send the landlord an email listing anything that is dirty or broken. This is better than using social media messages, as it is clearly timestamped, and viewed by the tribunal as being a written form of communication.

Take photos. Lots of photos. This will help you to prove what you have said in your condition report or email. Everything that is dirty or broken should be photographed. Email those photos to yourself, even if your phone gives a timestamp. If you need to go to the tribunal to claim back your bond, you will have irrefutable proof of the condition the property when you moved in.

After you move out, take lots of photos showing that you have left the property in a clean state. Include photos of the floors, walls, windows, lights, stovetop/oven, bathtub, toilet, sinks, cupboards, lawn, garden beds, etc. Again, email them to yourself so that they are timestamped. That way, if the property is dirtied or something breaks after you have left, you will not need to pay for that damage.

If you have any questions about getting your bond/deposit returned, or any other accommodation question, ask an SRC Caseworker. We’re happy to help.


For more details on things you should know about tenancy and accommodation, See:
1. Accommodation Guide
2. Accommodation Checklist

We also have professional caseworkers who can help.
Make an appointment by calling 9660 5222, or if you prefer, email your questions to help@src.usyd.edu.au.