Checking out move-in costs?

Question from Mana updated on 24th December 2013:

If the rent is $230 and bond consists of four weeks plus a letting fee, should the cost be $1,414.50 in total?

Our expert Alan Bruce responded:

The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) states that a landlord may require up to maximum of four weeks rent as a bond, and may also require up to a maximum of two weeks rent in advance. The landlord could therefore require a total of $1,380 to be paid as bond and rent in advance, depending on the amount of rent in advance required as agreed to in the tenancy agreement. The Act does not specify an amount that can be required by way of a letting fee, however, the Act does define who may charge such a fee (e.g. a solicitor or letting agent). If it is not clear how the amount required is made up, it is recommended that the tenant clarify the breakdown with the landlord to ensure they are aware of what they are paying, and to determine if it is what they have agreed to as part of any tenancy agreement.

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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