Pedantic on three days rent arrears

Question from James updated on 19th October 2012:

I recently finished a tenancy at a property and vacated with a clean inspection. On finalisation of the agreement the landlord mentioned we apparently had three days rent in arrears from when we began the tenancy and when we began paying. She wants to deduct the remainder from the bond. It seems excessively pedantic but she is sticking to her guns. This isn't normal and reaks of money grubbing. Do I have any rebuttal? It is the only deduction she is claiming for.

Our expert Megan Martin responded:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act (the Act), a tenant is responsible for paying the rent as and when it is due and payable as under their Tenancy Agreement. Rent is accrued from the date a tenancy commences until the date the tenancy ends, and in most cases is required to be paid in advance. Where a tenancy commences before the first rent payment is made, the landlord and tenant should work out how much the first rent payment will be, which should incorporate the required rent in advance, as well as rent for any days that fall prior to the initial rent payment. The best outcome in this type of situation is often for the landlord and tenant to discuss the matter in an attempt to reach an agreement. However, if a landlord and tenant cannot reach an agreement, either party may make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved. To discuss your situation further, or for information about rent payments, you can visit the Department’s website (www.dbh.govt.nz), or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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