Demanding landlord

Question from John updated on 20th December 2012:

I moved out of a flat over two months ago. I had an inspection and the bond was all returned within a week of moving out. I've just been told that I now need to supply proof that the carpets were professionally cleaned. As far as I am concerned, I no longer have any responsibility for anything to do with that rental. I am aware the clause for demanding professional cleaning is null and void. How long can a landlord keep demanding things?

Our expert Alan Bruce responded:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act), tenants are responsible for leaving the premises reasonably clean and tidy at the end of the tenancy. Any issues regarding the tenancy should be raised at the final property inspection, if not prior. Once inspection has been completed, and the bond has been refunded, the landlord has confirmed that the tenant’s obligations have been met, and that the tenancy has ended. There may be an exception where a landlord discovers a problem at a later date that could not have been reasonably discovered prior to the bond being refunded. In that case, if an agreement cannot be reached regarding responsibility for the problem discovered, then either party may apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved. To discuss your situation further, or for information about a tenant’s responsibilities at the end of the tenancy, you can visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Building and Housing Group’s 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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