The Rental Bond Mystery Uncovered
Much like James Bond himself, the rental bond and how it all works can sometimes be a mystery for us civilians. We wanted to uncover the secrets so you know exactly what to expect when it comes to paying and receiving your bond, and ensure everything’s fair and square.
What’s a bond?
A bond is money that a landlord / agent can ask tenants to pay as security when they move into a property.
How do they take it (shaken, or stirred?)
You pay your bond directly to the landlord/agent, but it is then required to be held by Tenancy Services, part of the NZ government.
Landlords / agents who charge a bond must lodge it with Tenancy Services, within 23 working days of receiving it. They must also give the tenant a receipt. You should receive a letter confirming your bond has been lodged with 6 weeks.
How much is a bond?
A bond can be up to the equivalent of 4 weeks rent. If rent is (lawfully) increased, you can be asked to pay extra bond to make up the difference.
Getting it back
To release a bond, the landlord / agent and the same people who initially signed the bond lodgement form need to sign the bond refund form. Either the landlord, agent or tenant can return the completed and signed form to Tenancy Services.
How long does it take to get a bond refund?
It usually takes about 3 working days from when a fully completed form is received. Sometimes it can take time to get all the signatures from all relevant tenants and the landlord/agent, as well as delays if sent via post, if the form is incomplete or if there’s any dispute about the bond refund amount.
When might you not receive your full bond refund?
A portion (or all) of your bond can be taken to cover any costs if anything in the property is damaged or missing, or for any unpaid rent. Tenants aren’t responsible for general wear and tear, but they may be responsible for any careless damage, missing items, unfinished cleaning or gardening.
Bonds are expensive! Need help?
We understand moving is expensive, sometimes you need to move at short notice, and there can often be delays getting your bond back. A MoveSmart loan can help by sorting your bond, rent in advance and letting fees so you’ll be ready to move, quick smart.