Moving out of the flat? Check out our tips for getting your bond back.
Moving out of the flat? Check out our tips for getting that sweet, sweet bond money back (because we know you have big plans for it).
If you’re keen to claim that bond back, a decent clean-up is important. You might be able to do it yourself but check your tenancy agreement to see if there are any
conditions you may have forgot.
Know your rights
There are some things that landlords cannot require as a condition for getting your bond back. For example, they cannot require you to hire professional carpet cleaning services (even if they put it in the tenancy agreement). For more information on unenforceable clauses, visit: Tenancy.govt.nz (You still need to clean up, though!)
The DIY Clean-up: A Check List
All areas of the house:
- Dust ceiling fixtures, lights, and skirting boards
- Get rid of cobwebs
- Wipe down walls, doors and ceilings if needed.
- Clean light switches and outlets
- Vacuum and mop (including under furniture)
- Clean mirrors (tip: newspaper removes streaks)
- Clean windows: glass, frames, and sills
- Dust blinds and wash curtains (if safe. Take a look at fabric care instructions.)
- Vacuum and clean the vent grill
- Clean the inside and out of the microwave, fridge, oven and hob
- Clean out cupboards and drawers
- Clean surfaces, like benchtops and the fronts of cabinets
- Clean and shine the sink and faucet
- Deep clean the range hood
- Scrub soap scum off tiles and the tub/shower
- Clean grout
- Deal with any limescale on tiles and taps
- Clean out the bathroom drawers and vanity
- Clean and disinfect the toilet
- Vacuum the surface of the exhaust fan if it’s really dusty
- Give the garage a clean: Empty out your stuff and give it a sweep
- Mow the grass
- Pull weeds
- Remove decorations you’ve stuck in the ground or hung on trees
- Check the deck
Before moving out, grab the landlord to do an inspection of the property together and:
- make sure the final property inspection report is signed by both parties.
- complete the bond forms in full, making sure the signatures match those on the bond lodgement form.
- be open to using the bond if there’s any unpaid rent, damage, or other costs, like cleaning or gardening fees.
- make sure you agree to the amount written on the bond refund form before you sign it.
- never sign a blank bond refund form (the landlord could write any old amount in there).
Take photos of the property, to help avoid any ‘he said, she said’ about its condition (especially if some flatmates are moving out earlier and can’t attend the inspection with the landlord).
Don’t be pressured to move out by lunchtime: you have the full day to leave (but be reasonable about it – it’s not a great idea to hand in the keys at midnight, for example).
Another tip? Landlords also can’t have one set of tenants move out in the morning, and another set move in that afternoon!
Get written confirmation from your landlord of the final date that rent will be paid and how much that will be. This is handy if you pay rent in advance, and/or if your tenancy finishes on a day that you wouldn’t normally pay rent (e.g., the final rent payment may be prorated to cover only a few days until the tenancy ends).
Tenancy Services provides information on rights and responsibilities as a landlord, tenant or unit title owner. Their role is to help tenants and landlords act with confidence, building good relationships, and solve any problems that may arise during your tenancy.
Contact them by calling 0800 836 262 (for Tenancy issues) or 0800 737 666 (for Bond related issues) from 8am-5:30pm, Monday to Friday. You can find out how to contact them if you speak a different language or if you are deaf or hearing impact.
Citizens Advice Bureau
Citizens Advice Bureau provides free, confidential, independent information and advice to anyone, and help them understand their rights and how to access services they need.
Contact them by calling 0800 367 222, live chat on their website, send them a message, or visit them at a CAB location near you.
Community Law Canterbury
Community Law Canterbury is a not-for-profit organisation that provides accessible and quality legal help to people in Canterbury and the West Coast. Community Law Canterbury offers general legal advice service, information services, specialist advice, and education services.
Contact them using their online form, call them on (03) 366 6870 or 0508 CANLAW (0508 226 529), text on 027 537 0156, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org