Landlords and tenants need to complete and submit a bond refund form at the end of the tenancy.
COVID-19 update: As part of the Government response to COVID-19 bond refunds and bond transfers are being treated as an essential service, this means we will continue to process refunds within 5 working days.
When the tenancy ends, the tenant and landlord should inspect the property together. If the inspection shows everything’s in order, complete the bond refund form and send it to Tenancy Services for it to be processed. If you prefer, you can also transfer the bond to a new tenancy.
If there’s unpaid rent or other outstanding costs, the tenant and landlord may agree to split the bond. Part of the bond is refunded to the landlord to cover their costs and the rest is refunded to the tenant. The bond refund form should be completed to reflect this.
If you can’t agree on the refund amount, you will need to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal.
When one tenant out of a group is leaving (but the rest are staying on), you will need to send us a change of tenant form if the leaving tenant has contributed to the bond.
Completing the bond refund form
You will need to complete, sign and submit the bond refund form. The bond will not be released to the tenants unless all named tenants and the landlord sign this form.
The same people who signed the bond lodgement form need to sign the bond refund form at the end of the tenancy. If the signatures on these forms don't match there will be delays in refunding the bond.
Additional tenants bond refund form (you will need to complete this if there are more than 2 tenants)
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.
Send the completed form to us by either:
- scanning and emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org
- if your email has been received, you'll get an automatic reply email from us within 10 minutes. If you don't receive a reply after 10 minutes, please resend your email.
- posting to Tenancy Services, PO Box 50445, Porirua 5240
Either the landlord or the tenant can send the completed and signed form to Tenancy Services.
It is currently taking up to 5 working days to refund a bond when a fully completed form is received.
If we need further information in order to process your request, we will contact you by phone, email or letter.
Refunds are made by direct credit to the bank account numbers you provide on the bond refund form. Refunds will only be made to a NZ bank account.
If the tenant or landlord can’t or won’t sign the bond refund form, complete the form anyway and send it to us. We will try to contact the person who hasn’t signed to check they agree with the refund.
If the landlord or tenant doesn’t agree to the bond payment, we will let both parties know that there’s an issue. The bond will be refunded when we receive either:
- a new bond refund form signed and dated by the landlord and all tenants, after the dispute date
- a Mediator’s Order or an Order of the Tenancy Tribunal advising how the bond is to be refunded.
A landlord can only submit a form that the tenant hasn’t signed within 2 months of the tenancy ending. After that they will need to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to claim part of the bond or they will need to get the tenant to sign a refund form.
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 the landlord and tenant(s) are willing, they can ask for a mediator to help them try to reach an agreement. If you don’t want to use a mediator, or mediation doesn’t work, you will have to attend a Tenancy Tribunal hearing.
If the tenant or landlord has passed away
If the tenant or landlord has passed away, their appointed executor must sign the bond refund form. If a will or probate does not exist, the claim must be made by a court appointed administrator. To release the bond we will need to see the following documents:
- a copy of the death certificate(external link);
- proof of the executor or administrator of the tenant's estate, such as a court order, a copy of the probate, or a letter from a lawyer or The Public Trust Office;
- a bond refund form signed by all parties. The executor or administrator of the estate must sign on behalf of the deceased;
- a signature ID from the executor or administrator of the estate.
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 6 years after the tenancy ends, the bond becomes the property of the Crown.