Bond is normally refunded at the end of a tenancy by submitting a completed bond refund form, unless there is a dispute about any outstanding issue.
Agree on the refund amount
The tenant and landlord should go through the property together and check nothing’s damaged or broken. The tenant isn’t responsible for normal wear and tear, but they may be responsible for intentional or careless damage.
The landlord can claim some or all of the bond if the tenant has left anything undone in relation to the tenancy. This includes unpaid rent, any damage, missing items, or unfinished cleaning or gardening.
If everything’s in order
If the inspection shows everything’s in order, complete the bond refund form and send it to the Tenancy Services for it to be processed.
If there’s unpaid rent or damage
If there’s unpaid rent, damage or anything else left undone, the tenant and landlord may agree to split the bond. Part of the bond is refunded to the landlord, to cover their costs. The rest is refunded to the tenant. Fill out the bond refund form to reflect this.
Bond refund form
This form is used to refund any bond to any party.
- No funds will be released to tenants unless all named tenants have signed this form.
- If you use the Landlord ID number, no other information is required in the landlord details column. You can find out the Landlord ID number by calling 0800 737 666.
- It usually takes about 3 working days to refund a bond when a fully completed form is received.
We are currently experiencing high volumes of bond refund applications. You can expect to receive your bond refund in 5 working days. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Either the landlord or the tenant can send the form to Tenancy Services, once it’s filled out and signed by all tenants and the landlord.
Where to send the completed form
Send the form by one of the following:
- Post to Tenancy Services, PO Box 50445, Porirua 5240
- Fax to (04) 237 7884
- Scan and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Processing the form
We check the signatures against those on the bond lodgement form. If they’re the same, we will refund the bond.
Refunds are made by direct credit, to the bank account numbers on the bond refund form and can only be made to a NZ bank account. Refunds usually take about 3 working days to process.
Bond money to be refunded can also be transferred to a new tenancy. Transfers take about 10 working days to process.
If the tenant or landlord can’t sign the form
If the tenant or landlord can’t or won’t sign the bond refund form, complete the form anyway and send it to Tenancy Services. Tenancy Services will contact the party who hasn’t signed to confirm they agree with the refund.
If the landlord or tenant:
- replies and agrees, the bond will be paid
- doesn’t reply by a certain date, the bond may still be paid
- replies and disagrees, the bond won’t be paid.
If the landlord or tenant doesn’t agree to the bond payment, Tenancy Services will notify both parties of the dispute. The bond will be refunded when a new bond refund form is signed by all parties, or when Tenancy Services receives a mediator’s order or an order of the Tenancy Tribunal advising how the bond is to be refunded.
A landlord can only do this within two months of the tenancy ending. After that they will need to apply to the tenancy tribunal if they want to claim any part of the bond or they will need get the tenants to sign a refund form.
If the tenant and landlord can’t agree
If the tenant and the landlord can’t agree on the bond refund, either (or both) can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to get it sorted.
If both parties are willing, the applicant can ask for a mediator to help them try to reach an agreement.
If the parties don’t want to use a mediator, or mediation doesn’t work, their case will go to a hearing in the Tenancy Tribunal.
Disputes process has more on mediation and the Tenancy Tribunal.
If a tenant has passed away
If a tenant has passed away, the request for a refund must be made by the appointed executor of the estate. If a will/estate does not exist, the claim must be made by a court appointed administrator. We will need to see the following documents before we can release the bond to the executor or administrator:
- Proof of death, such as a copy of a death certificate or a letter from a lawyer.
- Proof you are the executor or administrator of the tenants estate, such as a court order or a letter from a lawyer.
A refund will also be made in accordance with any court order, such as a Tenancy Tribunal order.
If the bond isn’t claimed
If bond remains unclaimed for six years after the tenancy ends, the bond becomes the property of the Crown.