Protecting your bond is important to get that lump sum of money back at the end of the year. Here is our advice to ensure you receive this payment at the end of your tenancy;
Beginning of the year: Take pictures or a video of the whole property when you move in or as soon as possible. Make a list or add details to the entry inspection from your landlord if they gave you one (they are supposed to), make sure All and ANY damage, wear and tear, mould, rubbish, dirt, stains, or less than perfect things are ALL recorded. This is so you can’t be held responsible at the end of the tenancy.
During the year: Report in writing anything broken, not working, or damaged straight away. Do regular cleaning to make the end of the year easier, get rid of rubbish regularly, wipe window sills regularly to stop mould and clean spills on the carpet as soon as they happen to try and avoid staining.
Ending the year: DO NOT SIGN A BOND REFUND FORM WHERE THE REFUND AMOUNT HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK otherwise the landlord can fill in any amount they want and have the bond refunded to them.
Do a thorough clean of the whole flat (including inside the oven, fridge, microwave, cupboards). It doesn’t have to be professionally cleaned, but should be left in a reasonably clean and tidy standard, which means all surfaces should have been wiped, toilet, shower and basin are clean, kitchen facilities clean, window sills and skirting boards dusted/vacuumed, blu-tac (if you were allowed to use it) on walls removed (be careful when you’re doing this that you don’t chip off any paint or wallpaper), and all floors mopped and vacuumed.
All rubbish and personal belongings need to be removed and the grounds left tidy too. Take your own photos of everything when you’re done so that you can compare your own records to those reported by the landlord in their final inspection.