Carpet dispute

Question from Richard updated on 26th October 2018:

We recently moved out of a property and did a final inspection with the landlord. A day after submitting our bond refund form, they contacted me and said that they noticed we had spot cleaned the carpet in the lounge. But that a day later they were still visible and that they now wanted the carpet to be professionally cleaned. Normally I would hire a carpet cleaning machine myself before leaving. However, in this case, the carpets are quite old and well worn, as well as the fact that they hadn't been vacuumed prior to our moving in. On top of this, we had only been in the house for six weeks. As a result I refused and said that we left the house reasonably clean and tidy and that I was not going to be paying to clean their carpets. I have now found out that they have put our bond in dispute with tenancy but we have not been told anything. What is the best way around this? These landlords have been ridiculously difficult in our short stay.

Our expert Bernard Parker responded:

Once the landlord has flagged a dispute on the release of your bond your best course of action is to lodge an application to the Tenancy Tribunal for release of your bond to you. If the landlord wants to claim any portion of the bond, he/she must make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal and justify the claim that they are making. Whether the property was left “reasonably clean and tidy” is something that you will have to argue against your landlord. That will include the state of the carpet and, possibly, a comparison with the condition at the start of tenancy six weeks earlier.

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 30 years.

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