Paying a bond
Most places that you rent will require you to pay a bond. This is a lump sum of money that you pay at the beginning of your tenancy and get back when you leave. The purpose of this is so that the landlord has insurance if you were to leave the property in a bad state. If you do not leave the property in the state that is agreed upon in the rental agreement, the landlord may keep your bond so that they may use it. This allows them to pay for any potential damages, as well as giving them some money to compensate for the amount of time that they will be unable to rent out the property.
There are several types of different rental agreements. One such type is fixed term. If you are in a fixed term rental agreement, you will have to rent the property for a specific amount of time before you vacate it. If you were to terminate the rental agreement early, there would be some penalty, usually a fee. Although it can potentially be frustrating having to stay in the same place for a certain amount of time, this protects both you and the landlord by ensuring that neither of you can terminate the tenancy abruptly. If you do not want to be on a fixed term contract, there are other options available such as month by month agreements where you can move out whenever you want.
All tenancy agreements will require you to maintain the property to a certain standard. Regardless of whether it is in the rental agreement, it is just generally polite to keep someone else's property in good shape. On top of that, it usually feels a lot better living in a home that is clean and well maintained. As said above, it is important that you keep on top of maintaining the property. Failure to do so may result in forfeiting a portion or all of your bond payment.
Documenting existing damage
As stated several times, if you do not leave the property in good condition, you will risk losing your bond payment. To stop this from happening, it is important that you document any existing damage that the property may have when you move in. This not only means that you can't be blamed and lose your bond over something you didn't do, it also means that you are not responsible for the repair. This means that the landlord will have to fix whatever the damage is.
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