Failed tenant bond transfer
(updated on Friday, July 24th 2020)
We recently had new tenants move into our property. They advised us that the bond would be transferred from their previous tenancy. However, they recently advised us that their landlord wouldn’t release the bond and that issue is now under dispute. In our last communication with our tenants they advised us that the bond would be paid by a specific date. That date has now lapsed. We have not heard from them in two weeks and their phone number supplied has been disconnected. What could be our next steps?
Our Experts Answer:
If a new landlord accepts a bond transfer, they need to send a completed Bond Transfer Form to Tenancy Services once it has been completed by the tenant and signed by the old and new landlord. Bond transfers take up to 15 working days to process. In some cases it may take longer if there is an issue with that transfer form, for example if not all parties to the previous bond have signed. If you would like to check the status of a bond transfer to your rental you can contact Tenancy Services.
A ‘Notice to Remedy’ can be issued to a tenant (or landlord) for any breaches in the tenancy agreement that are capable of being put right. The notice is actually a letter that outlines the breach (such as unpaid bond), and what needs to be done to resolve it. A landlord may also request that the tenancy be terminated as a consequence for non-payment. If so, they then need to specifically issue a ‘14-day Notice to Remedy’. This notice gives the tenant a timeframe to fix the problem.
If it’s still not resolved within that timeframe, the landlord can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for mediation or a tribunal hearing to have the matter resolved - which may result in termination of the tenancy and order of repayment for any monies owed.
Additionally, a landlord may wish to visit the premises to see if the tenants are still living there. Note that a landlord cannot enter the premises without the tenants’ consent, or without giving the legally required notice in writing. For more information on the disputes processes available, go to tenancy.govt.nz/disputes. You can also subscribe to our e-newsletter Tenancy Matters here.
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