Letting fee refund

James asks:
(updated on Friday, October 19th 2018)

I agreed to a property, signed a tenancy application and paid the amount for the letting fee. Then the landlord didn't have the property anymore but rented it to someone else. Should I be entitled to a full refund?

Our Experts Answer:

A letting fee covers the cost of putting a tenancy in place. This can include covering the cost and time involved for the letting agent for holding open homes, reviewing applications from prospective tenants, preparing tenancy agreements and conducting the initial property inspection. Letting fees can vary, but are normally one week’s rent plus GST. The tenancy agreement must state whether there is a letting fee. 

If the tenant signs or agrees to the tenancy, they must pay the letting fee. If a tenant is offered a tenancy by a landlord, pays a letting fee and then the property is no longer available, then the letting fee should be refunded. However, if a tenant signs a tenancy agreement and then for whatever reason changes their mind, they may not be entitled to a refund of the letting fee.

For more on the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, go to www.tenancy.govt.nz or subscribe to our e-newsletter Tenancy Matters at www.tenancy.govt.nz/subscribe.

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