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Value the vacate

01 July 2016 Heidi Walkinshaw

The vacate can bring out all manner of emotions, not just for the tenant but also for the owner, and can quickly turn those once-lovely clients into a bit of a challenge.


In the lead-up, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you are communicating the expectations of the vacate with all parties. Hopefully you can minimise the conflict and avoid that long, drawn-out sentence of ‘It’s cleaner than when I moved in’.

  • At the commencement of the tenancy, educate the in-going tenant on the ground rules. Let the tenant know how you expect the property to be looked after, stressing the conditions of the lease regarding care of the property. You may like to provide them with a checklist or even an induction video.
  • Pre-vacate inspections are a perfect opportunity to sort out any potential problems that might be present at the property, and give the tenant the chance to fix these before the vacate inspection.
  • Invite the tenant to the vacate inspection at a time that is suitable for you. If they cannot make it at that time, then carry on the inspection without them. Make sure that you call or email the tenant after the inspection to inform them of the result.
  • Communicate with the tenant throughout the process and explain the bond refund procedure. In most cases a reasonable person will understand the situation once it has been explained to them. However, there are some cases in which you may be left with a neglected property and a difficult tenant, which may mean a bond claim and possible tribunal action if it all goes pear-shaped.

Throughout the process, don’t forget about communication with the owner. They may like to come along once the tenant has vacated to take a look at the property, and this might be a good opportunity to discuss potential improvements. Also, let them know before you finalise the bond to ensure that they are happy to release it, and that no nasty surprises are going to crop up that your agency might have to wear the cost of.


One of the key points in the vacate process is communication; don’t be tempted to hide away from the conflict. Be confident, keep the lines of communication open and tackle it head-on.

Value the vacate
Heidi Walkinshaw 2016 cropped
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Heidi has been immersed in property management for over 14 years’ dealing in all aspects from leasing, property management, business development and team management. Adding to the mix with 5 years as a Trainer and Consultant, Heidi has worked with small and medium-sized rent rolls in implementing systems and procedures to increase efficiency, growth and profitability within agencies. 

Heidi brings enthusiasm and energy to Real Plus and is passionate about system implementation; procedures and staff training that can assist in reducing stress and saving time while helping clients have a more profitable property management business. 


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