Ending A Lease: What Are Your Responsibilities as a Renter?

As a rental period comes to an end, landlords and tenants should collaborate to facilitate a smooth process in the days leading up to and on the final day of the lease. Canstar explains your responsibilities as a renter when concluding a lease.

What are the renter’s responsibilities?

Before moving day

As a renter, you have certain responsibilities that you must meet before you move out. These include:

  1. Giving notice: give at least 28 days’ written notice to end a periodic tenancy. The process is slightly different for a fixed-term tenancy
  2. Arrange a time for a final property inspection
  3. Pay everything you need to, and cancel or transfer any services connected to the property in your name (e.g. electricity, gas or internet)

On moving day

Here are the steps to follow when moving out:

  1. Remove all of your belongings, but leave behind anything provided by the landlord, such as furniture and appliances
  2. Leave the property clean and tidy, and take away all your rubbish
  3. Return your house keys to the landlord or their property agent
  4. Conduct a final property inspection with the property owner/property agent and complete the final inspection report
  5. Provide your forwarding address to both the landlord and Tenancy Services. This ensures that mail can be forwarded to you and you can be contacted about your bond

What are the landlord’s responsibilities?

There are specific actions a landlord must take when a tenant moves out of their property. These include:

  1. Conducting a property inspection a few weeks before the final day of the tenancy. This allows them to address any issues with their tenant before they vacate
  2. Notify the tenant in writing about any remaining rent due and outline their responsibilities at the end of the tenancy
  3. Inform them that there will be a final property inspection before the bond is refunded
  4. Bring copies of essential tenancy documents, including the tenancy agreement, initial property inspection report, and rent summary, to the final inspection in case they are needed

Allow sufficient time between tenancies for necessary maintenance and any additional cleaning that may be required.

What’s the bond refund process?

At the end of the tenancy, it’s advisable for both the tenant and landlord to conduct a joint inspection of the property. If the inspection reveals that everything is in order, complete the bond refund form and submit it to Tenancy Services for processing. Alternatively, you have the option to transfer the bond to a new tenancy.

Either the landlord or the tenant can send the completed and signed form to Tenancy Services.

You may submit the bond refund form by scanning and emailing it to bonds@tenancy.govt.nz or by mailing it to Tenancy Services, PO Box 50445, Porirua 5240.

Refunds are typically processed within five working days.

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About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Caitlin Bingham. Caitlin is an experienced writer whose passion for creativity led her to study communication and journalism. She began her career freelancing as a content writer, before joining the Canstar team.

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