6 Simple Tips To Get Your Bond Back At The End Of Tenancy

Moving from your current rental property can be a long and tedious process, from packing boxes to securing new housing to completing all relocation paperwork. However, the most important step of all is securing your initial tenancy bond. Meeting your landlord’s expectations can be a complicated and even frustrating process, as its time-intensive nature can pile additional stress onto your already full plate.

As New Zealand renters know, the cleaner your rental is, the less money will be removed from your initial deposit. Rentals that do not meet their landlord’s expectations may be met with bond delays, cuts, or even full withholding. To protect yourself from a lengthy or potentially litigious bond return, it’s essential to understand the best possible ways to secure your refund from the get-go.

Top tips for securing your bond refund

While preparing to apply for a bond refund, it’s critical to focus on all the things you can directly control about the process. This generally includes cleaning, repairing, and otherwise following all provided documentation.

  • Repair appliances or items — If you have any concerns regarding the condition of appliances or machines on the property, raise them with your landlord or manager before moving out. This could include fixing broken stovetops, repairing broken faucets, or cleaning out washer or dryer systems. Alert landlords to problems well in advance to reduce the risks of having your bond withheld.
  • Get it in writing — Be sure to have a written agreement from your landlord or property manager confirming that you have fulfilled all obligations under the tenancy agreement. This will help to eliminate any friction between verbal agreements and signed documentation.
  • Return all access cards — Many rentals have strict requirements regarding the return of items like pool passes, building keys, and other access fobs. Failure to return these items could lead to a charge that directly impacts your bond return. Ensure that you return all building access items to your property manager, and double-check your manual for anything you might have missed.
  • Focus on your vacate cleaning checklist — Many rental properties have an end of lease cleaning checklist to help tenants navigate the move-out process. It’s a good idea to take your time while following the bond clean list, and ensure the results match the standards outlined in the document. This process could be greatly expedited by hiring bond cleaning experts like Jim’s Cleaning.
  • Get your carpets professionally cleaned — Many tenancy agreements require professional carpet cleaning as part of their bond refund requirements. Although you may rent a carpet cleaning machine on your own, it’s far more efficient to book a professional cleaner. 
  • Don’t forget the little things — Once you’ve tackled the big items on your vacate cleaning checklist, take a walk through your rental property to check for small tasks that may have been overlooked. This includes sweeping cobwebs from the corners of the home, dusting fans, and wiping down baseboards.

Following these tips will increase the chances of receiving your bond refunded in full, mitigating the risks of contested or withheld tenancy bonds.

Get end of lease cleaning from professional teams

While it’s perfectly possible to clean your home using DIY products and tools, there’s no way to be certain that you’ve covered every nook and cranny — especially up to your landlord’s expectations. Hiring professional vacate cleaning experts greatly simplifies the process, spotlessly cleaning your rental within a short period of time. Rather than struggling to accomplish stain removal or upholstery cleaning on your own, choose to partner with experts that have your needs in mind.

The professionals at Jim’s Cleaning are no exception, providing outstanding end of lease cleaning services to renters throughout New Zealand. Reduce your stress with experts in the industry, offering a deep clean and faster finish that will more than satisfy your landlord. Backed by trained staff and a 100% clean guarantee, Jim’s Cleaning is New Zealand’s answer to getting rental bonds back quickly, fully, and hassle-free.

Request a quote today to learn more about our bond cleaning programs. Experts are standing by to take your online form or phone call any time during our service hours.


What are our tips for securing your bond back from the landlord?

There are six primary tips you can follow to get your bond back from a landlord:

  • Letting the landlord know about any broken appliances or items that need repair before moving out of the apartment. Make sure you take photographs and forward correspondence via email to ensure that you have a paper trail. 
  • Printing and maintaining a signed agreement between yourself and the landlord regarding bond return. It’s best to secure this in advance as part of the moving in process, but you may be able to negotiate one closer to your leaving date as necessary. 
  • Returning access cards or additional building passes that may incur additional costs or reduce the bond amount.
  • Using the vacate cleaning checklist provided by your landlord, or following along with the Jim’s Cleaning end of lease cleaning checklist.
  • Having your carpets professionally cleaned to remove stains, hair, and other undesirable grit and grime. 
  • Cleaning smaller and oft-forgotten areas such as baseboards, fan blades, and windowsills.

These simple steps encourage the safe return of your tenancy bond without fees, cuts, or delays. 

What can a landlord take from your bond?

If a rental property does not sufficiently meet the guidelines set by the landlord or property manager, they may choose to make a claim against your bond. These claims could shave off small amounts of the bond that cover extraneous expenses, including cleaning fees and carpet care. Other amounts may be used to cover missing rent or damaged property. In the event of a serious violation, property managers may keep the entire tenancy bond.

How long does it take to get bond back NZ?

A completed bond refund form will be necessary for the proper return of a tenancy bond. New Zealand law requires that the landlord or the renter submits the completed documentation after the final property inspection, or complete a Tenancy Tribunal document in the case of disagreements. Under most circumstances, renters can expect to receive their bond within 5 business days. If this bond is not claimed within a 6-year period, it will become property of the Crown thereafter.

What can make you lose your bond?

Provided the tenant follows all renter guidelines well, most landlords will return all or most of the initial housing bond. That is not always the case in all circumstances. In New Zealand, there are a number of things that could cause you to lose your bond entirely. 

  • Late or missing rent
  • Apartment abandonment 
  • Significant damage to the apartment
  • Destruction or loss of landlord personal property
  • Poor cleaning that does not meet the end of lease agreement
  • Inability to pay for expenses such as electricity, water, and more

Note that landlords are not able to make claims against an apartment for reasonable wear and tear, including light scratches, scuffs, and items of that nature. When you first move into a property, it’s worth documenting the condition of the house via photography — this will provide you with clear evidence of its condition when you eventually move out. 

How long does a landlord have to refund a bond?

New Zealand law expects landlords to return bond monies within a period of 10 business days (or two weeks). When your tenancy ends, you and your landlord will be expected to perform an inspection that evaluates all elements of the property and its condition. If there are disagreements regarding its status or wellbeing, either party may complete a rebuttal form to contest the returned amount. Either party is given a maximum of two weeks to respond to a bond refund form.

All landlords must lodge their bonds within two weeks of receiving the monies. Agents must lodge their bond within a period of four weeks. Be sure to research any specific tenant requirements in your area.

What is an end of lease cleaning checklist?

Most property managers and landlords provide an end of lease checklist for the benefit of their tenants. These documents usually include all expectations for cleaning and deep cleaning before moving out, as well as any additional move-out requirements. 

The vast majority of end of lease cleaning checklists will include a combination of surface-level and detail level requirements, such as:

  • The removal of stains or dirt
  • Cleaning and repairing blinds
  • Professional carpet cleaning
  • Washing and drying upholstery
  • Oven or stove top cleaning
  • Cleaning bathtubs or showers
  • Disinfecting bathrooms or kitchens

Not every landlord provides a cleaning checklist, but many still have expectations of cleanliness after your move has occurred. Jim’s Cleaning is happy to provide a detailed end of lease cleaning checklist that includes general expectations for New Zealand properties. And if you are concerned about your ability to clean to your landlord’s standards, the professionals at Jim’s Cleaning are standing by to help at any time.

How can Jim’s Cleaning help you get that bond back?

Since the very beginning, Jim’s Cleaning has been passionate about giving our all to the benefit of our clients. With an obsession for the little details and a love of customer service, we do our part to help New Zealand renters get their tenancy bonds back in full. From end of lease cleaning to carpet solutions, we have all the programs you need to get and keep your rental spotless.

Reach out to us today for a service quote, or call 0800 454 654 for all your apartment cleaning needs.