Question from Karen updated on 20th February 2019:
We recently moved out of a property that we were renting. Prior to moving, we did a walk-through and inspection with the owner. The owner and I signed the bond forms completely and the owner did not have any concerns during the walk-through.
However, when the refund came, only $320.00 was refunded and $1,000 was in dispute. I learned that the owner had made some changes on the form without informing us. Now she's claiming a lot of damages and repairs against our bond.
She has my number and email address but went ahead. I have a photocopy of the original form that we signed. Can I still claim the remaining bond? It seems that she just waited for us to leave New Zealand before submitting the tampered forms.
Our expert Bernard Parker responded:
The Tenancy Tribunal is the venue for any dispute between a landlord and a tenant. I suggest that you make an online application to the Tenancy Tribunal for return of your bond. You may describe the circumstances of the final inspection and the changing of the Bond Refund form as part of your application.
Where a landlord wants to claim part of the bond they must make an application to the Tribunal and supply evidence justifying the basis of their claim. If you are overseas the Tribunal can make arrangements for you to attend a local courtroom for audio link. The Tribunal can also take account of time zone differences when scheduling the hearing.Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 22 years.