Bond cleaned out?

Question from Andi updated on 14th July 2013:

My landlord has decided that the property was not left in a 'clean and reasonable state' at the end of the tenancy and is deducting half of my bond to cover the cost of cleaning. However, I've been told that I should have been given the opportunity to remedy the situation before a bond deduction is made - is this correct? If so, what do I do when the landlord has already done the cleaning she said needed to be done?

Our expert Alan Bruce responded:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act), on the termination of the tenancy tenants are responsible for leaving the premises in a reasonably clean and tidy condition. Where a tenancy ends and the premises have not been left reasonably clean and tidy, the landlord may arrange to have any required cleaning carried out and may seek to recover the costs from the tenant(s). Alternatively a landlord and tenant may reach an agreement allowing the tenant to return to the premises to carry out any cleaning required to ensure their obligations have been met (noting that a landlord does not necessarily have to allow a tenant to return to the premises to carry out any work required where the tenancy has ended). However, where a landlord and tenant cannot reach an agreement regarding the condition of the premises at the end of the tenancy, either party may apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved. Where a bond is involved, we recommend that tenants contact our Bond Advice line (0800 737 666) to ensure their contact details are updated, and to ensure they receive any information regarding their bond even after the tenancy has ended. To discuss your situation further, or for further information regarding responsibilities at the end of a tenancy, you can visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website (www.dbh.govt.nz), or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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