One of the most common reasons a bond isn’t returned is due to the state of an office after it’s been vacated. Bonds vary from premise to premise and agent to agent so it’s important to check your own agreement, but in general there are a few areas where business owners get caught out.

Carpet stains
One of the most common reasons a bond is withheld is because a carpet needs to be replaced, and one of the biggest causes is water stains. This can happen near a sink – with careless washing up or people splashing water onto the floor – or because of pot plants overflowing or leaking onto the ground.

Photo by cityofroundrock

As with all stains, it’s best to clean it (or dry it) up straight away but if the stain has already set in there are a few steps to take. First vacuum the area (especially if it’s near a pot plant) to remove any loose dirt. After that’s done, apply a mixture of water and white wine vinegar to the stain and then dab it with a paper towel. You may need to repeat this a few times, but if the stain persists you might have to move on to steam cleaning.

Wooden floors
If you have hardwood floors there’s a fine line between general wear and tear (such as scuffs) and damage that means you have to forfeit some of your bond (badly scratched or gouged). Moving furniture is the easiest way to damage a floor and while there are ways to restore scratched floorboards it’s best to apply regular maintenance to keep them looking good and protecting them from further damage.

End of lease clean
One of the most common requirements in a commercial bond is that you hire a company to do an end of lease clean. The reason for this is that the owner or real estate agency doesn’t want to fork out for this themselves but they want the space ready for new tenants immediately. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense to arrange yourself, you have no way of know what extra charges you’ll face if you leave it for someone else to organise. This also means that if anything is missed, the onus is on someone else.

Take photos
As you leave your workspace for the last time make sure you take photos of everything you can. That way if a claim is made against you you have documentation that can back up your claims that the office was perfectly clean and damage-free and be used as evidence to get your bond returned.

As with any part of business reading through documents carefully can help keep your business in the right. When in doubt, speaking to someone with experience in the area can help talk you through what you should and shouldn’t have to do.

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