Bond refund forms

Question from Toni updated on 5th September 2018:

Can you go to the Tenancy Tribunal after the bond refund form has been signed by all parties?

Our expert Jennifer Sykes responded:

The Bond Refund form is usually signed voluntarily by all parties on the tenancy agreement once the tenancy has ended and the parties have agreed how the bond is to be paid. If a dispute arises after the bond has been refunded, any party on the Tenancy agreement can still apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for an Order to have the matter resolved.

However, there are a couple of time-related limitations. Where a landlord has signed off the bond refund, but damages etc. are found after a new tenant has moved into the premises, the landlord will need to satisfy the Tribunal that the damage was caused by the previous tenant rather than the new tenant. For example, exemplary damages is an amount of money that the Tribunal can award if an unlawful act has occurred. It can only be awarded up to 12 months after the unlawful act took place, or 12 months after the tenancy has ended for bond-lodgement breaches.

Further, there is generally a six-year limit on all other applications set in place by the Limitations Act which applies to all other claims – such as those seeking costs or damages. If a landlord wishes to make an application to the Tribunal more than two months after the tenancy has ended, they are required to provide a current Address for Service. This is a physical street address for the tenant (as part of their application) where the landlord knows the tenant can be personally served with a notice of hearing.

For more information on the Tenancy Tribunal application process, as well as the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, go to www.tenancy.govt.nz. You can also subscribe to our e-newsletter Tenancy Matters here.

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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