When a tenancy’s coming to an end, both landlords and tenants can help things go smoothly before and on the final day of the tenancy.
We’ve outlined information below about showing potential tenants through the property, doing a final property inspection, and getting the bond refunded.
Showing potential tenants through the property
If the house is going to be re-rented after the tenant moves out, the landlord may want to show potential tenants through the house before the final day of the tenancy.
To do this, the landlord must have the tenant’s permission. Tenants can’t unreasonably withhold permission, but they can set reasonable conditions. For example, they may limit access to certain times of day or days of the week. This is because the tenant is entitled to quiet enjoyment of their home.
Conducting a final property inspection
The landlord and tenant should arrange a time for a final property inspection at the end of a tenancy. Most landlords will want to do a final inspection before they agree to refund the bond.
It’s best for the final inspection to take place once the tenant’s moved all their belongings out and finished cleaning the property (inside and outside).
Lawns and gardens explains what the tenant is responsible for outside the house.
If the landlord and tenant can’t do a final inspection together, each should do their own. It’s a good idea to take photos.
Getting the bond refunded
The landlord should bring a bond refund form to the final inspection. It’s useful for the tenant to also bring one in case the landlord forgets.
A landlord and tenant should only sign a bond refund form if they agree with what’s written on it. A landlord should not ask their tenant to sign a blank form, and a tenant should not sign a blank form.
Refunding bond has more information on filling out the form, as well as what to do if both parties can’t agree on how the bond should be refunded.
Things for landlords to consider
Remember that tenancy days start and end at midnight. Don’t demand tenants to leave before midnight on the last day of a tenancy, try to negotiate a time that works for both of you.
Before the tenant leaves
- Do a property inspection a few weeks before the final day of the tenancy. Then you can ask the tenant to sort out anything they need to before they leave (for example, fix any damage they’ve caused).
- Next, write to the tenant. Tell them in writing how much rent they still need to pay and what their responsibilities are at the end of the tenancy. Let them know a final property inspection needs to take place before the bond is refunded.
- Take copies of the key tenancy documents with you to the final inspection in case they’re needed. This includes the tenancy agreement, the initial property inspection report, and a rent summary.
- If the tenant’s left any items behind, photograph it and make a detailed list. Follow the correct legal procedure for dealing with abandoned goods.
- Allow time between tenancies for carrying out maintenance and any extra cleaning you may want to do.
Things for tenants to consider
Keep all of your tenancy documents in a safe place. Having your tenancy agreement, property inspection reports, rent records and letters to or from the landlord handy may help if there’s a dispute at the end.
Pay everything you need to, and cancel any services
- Make sure you continue to pay the rent up to (and including) the final day of the tenancy.
- If you’re required to pay for water, record the water meter reading on the final day of the tenancy (after you’ve moved everything out and have finished cleaning).
- Cancel any services you have connected to the property (for example, electricity, gas or phone).
Leave the place tidy, and take only what’s yours
- Remove all your belongings.
- Make sure you leave the property reasonably clean and tidy (inside and outside), and take away all your rubbish.
- Leave behind anything the landlord provided for you to use during the tenancy, such as furniture and appliances.
- Return all the keys to the landlord.
Leave your details with the landlord
- Give your forwarding address to the landlord, and to the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, so mail can be forwarded to you and you can be contacted about your bond.
- Ask the landlord if they’re willing to be a referee.
For more information about ending a tenancy, see our easy to follow guide.