Forged signature for bond refund

Bill asks:
(updated on Tuesday, June 05th 2012)

I have my property managed by a third party property management company. My previous tenant abruptly stop paying rent and moved out without notification leaving behind thousands of dollars of damage. The only comfort to me is that there is still three week worth of rental bond with the Department of Building and Housing. My property management company assures me that I can get my three weeks of bonds back after a Tenancy Dispute Tribunal session. We have shockingly found the bond had already been cashed out by my ex tenant using a bond refund form with a forged signature! The case was reported to police and a criminal investigation was opened. But I can't help wonder that even if my ex tenant is caught, there is good chance they won't have money to repay my loss. Can I ask the Department of Building and Housing to reimburse my loss?

Our Experts Answer:

The Department of Building and Housing (DBH) will refund a bond upon receipt of a bond refund form signed by both parties or upon receipt of a Mediated or Tenancy Tribunal order. Where signatures on the bond refund form do not match what is on file, the DBH will write to the other party to confirm the payment. Where signatures do match but have been signed fraudulently, parties are encouraged to contact the Police (as you have done).

Whether the DBH reimburses you for your loss is likely to depend on a number of factors including the outcome of any criminal investigation. Contact the DBH on 0800 836 262.

Heartland Bank - Online 1.99
The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special 2.09
HSBC Special 2.25
ICBC 2.25
HSBC Premier 2.25
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special 2.25
AIA 2.29
TSB Special 2.29
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 2.29
SBS Bank Special 2.29
Westpac Special 2.29
Heartland Bank - Online 2.35
ICBC 2.35
HSBC Premier 2.35
TSB Special 2.49
SBS Bank Special 2.49
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 2.59
BNZ - Classic 2.59
ASB Bank 2.59
AIA 2.59
China Construction Bank Special 2.65
Kiwibank Special 2.65
HSBC Premier 2.89
TSB Special 2.99
AIA 2.99
Westpac Special 2.99
ICBC 2.99
ASB Bank 2.99
China Construction Bank Special 2.99
BNZ - Classic 2.99
SBS Bank Special 3.19
Kiwibank Special 3.19
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 3.19
Heartland Bank - Online 2.50
Resimac 3.39
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40
Kiwibank Special 3.40
Kiwibank 3.40
Bluestone 3.49
Select Home Loans 3.49
ICBC 3.69
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40
Kainga Ora 4.43