How much of the bond can the landlord keep?

Tess asks:
(updated on Friday, May 15th 2009)

We have rented house for 2 years. The lease is up and owners want to move in. Any accidental damage has always been repaired at our expense, eg. minor holes professionally plastered and repainted, carpets cleaned every 3 months, however there are a couple of minor stains that have not come out. The carpet was pretty stain free when moved in but very worn, sun damaged, holes around edges (I believe it is second hand). Can the owners keep any of our bond and if so how much?

Our Experts Answer:

Tenants are liable for any damage they or their invited guests cause carelessly or intentionally. They are not responsible for fair wear and tear. Tenants are also obliged to notify the landlord about any necessary maintenance so that the landlord can arrange for repairs. If the damage to the carpet is your responsibility, the landlord may be entitled to retain a part of your bond. The amount may depend on the extent of the damage and the value of the carpet.

I suggest speaking to your landlord to see if an agreement can be reached regarding the damage, taking into consideration the condition of the carpet at the start of the tenancy. If you and the landlord cannot reach an agreement concerning the damage and the release of your bond, you could apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved.

To discuss your situation further, or for advice and information about applying to the Tenancy Tribunal, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

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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