How can I lawfully raise the bond amount?

Question from Dave Brown updated on 6th May 2008:

We have some longterm tenants in New Zealand who initially paid a bond that is less than the weekly rent they currently pay. Is there any legal mechanism by which we can ask for their bond to be upgraded to be consistent with their current rent? I would like to see something that allows the ratcheting up of bonds to reflect current market rents.

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

When the rent is lawfully increased, the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 also allows the landlord to increase the bond by an amount not exceeding the amount by which the rent has been increased. This means that if the bond amount was four weeks rent at the beginning of the tenancy, a landlord can require the tenant to increase the bond to four weeks rent at the current weekly rent rate. Any additional bond payment requested from the tenant must be lodged with the Department of Building and Housing, using a Bond lodgement form and indicating that it is a payment to an existing bond. Bond lodgement forms are available on the Department ‘s website

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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