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1371 posts

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# 143405 14-Apr-2014 10:30
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Hi

I am after some advice. At the start of this year me and some friends moved out of our flat.
We cleaned this property to a far better level than when we moved in, but now we are trying to get our bond back the property agency is claiming they had to get in a professional cleaner/gardner to clean the property and they want to take this out of our bond.

They didn't let us know they were unhappy with the job we did or that they were going to get in professionals, they claim we gave up our right to this as we handed our keys back!

Luckly I took a ton a photos on the day we moved in so I am hoping I can prove that we had it more than clean enough, but I don't think they are in any postion to make us pay for the cleaner anyway. I thought they had to let us know if we failed the final inspection and give us a chance to fix any issues ourselves before they got in professionals?

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Banana?
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  # 1024747 14-Apr-2014 10:33
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Dispute it - did you take photos of the garden as well? Have you got exit photos also?

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  # 1024786 14-Apr-2014 11:21
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The property has to be of a reasonable standard. I went to Tenancy with this issue a couple of years age ( landlord was a right one). Told us yes no problems its great and then next day came up with all sorts of claims. The lesson is you need to get signed off approval before you give keys back. While they can still claim after you have given keys back you are in a stronger position. Tenancy are good but it still costs time off work etc.

 

 
 
 
 


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  # 1024796 14-Apr-2014 11:38
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I've had this crap with landlords before as well, fortunately the tribunal should sort you, but ultimately the best policy (next time) is to get sign off on the bond release form at the time you hand over the keys, and take those forms yourself to send to the tribunal for release of funds.

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  # 1024802 14-Apr-2014 11:42
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I'd definitely dispute it.

We had a landlord come back and dump rubbish on the property after we left so they could claim we'd left a mess, again we'd cleaned to a higher standard than we received the property in.

Unfortunately when we were moving out the agency would not inspect until after we handed the keys back, and would not negotiate on this. We were just to drop the keys at their office and wait for feedback on whether we'd done an acceptable job. This allowed the owner to make things difficult.

 

Throughout the tenancy we got complaints regarding condition/cleanliness despite numerous photos before we took residence. This was caused by the owner repeatedly complaining to the agency, and coming on to the property without prior notice whilst we were not present. Several times I asked the agency to review the photos (the ones they took), their response was that they had not had time so it was easier just to remind us of our obligations just in case we were at fault.

 

Thankfully it was all resolved between the agency and the owner after we cried foul, but it took a few weeks.

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  # 1024830 14-Apr-2014 12:12
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Don't mess about with it, either take them to disputes.

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  # 1024867 14-Apr-2014 13:04
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I would expect them to be able to clarify what was not up to a reasonable standard. Do not agree to the bond claim. If the two parties cannot reach mutual agreement, it goes to the tenancy tribunal.

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Uber Geek


  # 1024881 14-Apr-2014 13:23
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I didn't think they could make you get it cleaned by a professional cleaner or take the money from the bond if they wanted one themselves?

It only needs to be clean to the standard you moved in with. Not better or spic and spanned.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1024888 14-Apr-2014 13:38
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You also should read your contract as you may be required to hire professional cleaners and carpet cleaning on exit. 

Regarding their opinion that the cleaning was inadequate, they should have given you a chance to put things right (and the polite thing to do) without requiring a cleaner. 

Over my years of flatting, I've noticed renting is a lot more law/documentary based than in the past.  But I now own my own house so that is nice not to have to deal with landlords  (one digraceful landlord tried to make me pay for a replacement kitchen benchtop and we  ended up in court but I won easily as they had dodgy consents for their gas stove top which had been burning the backsplash area which was part of the overall kitchen bench top -- they said we cooked too close to the wall!!!!, ridiculous when the hob is too close to the wall and had a gas certification that breached safety rules).







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  # 1024948 14-Apr-2014 15:18
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surfisup1000: You also should read your contract as you may be required to hire professional cleaners and carpet cleaning on exit. 



I had a tenancy agreement that stipulated this but on advice from a lawyer friend was told that they could not legally enforce this.
As long as the property was cleaned to a certain standard it is irrelevant how it is done or by who.

Baby Get Shaky!
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  # 1024982 14-Apr-2014 16:25
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Have a read of your obligations and rights on the DBH website. If there is a disagreement between you and the landlords/property managers, the first step after you've talked with LL/PM is to speak with the tenancy tribunal, initially via mediation and if that fails through a tribunal hearing. You can lodge an application for review of the bond at any time. Contracts which state things like 'must be professionally cleaned', 'carpets must be professionally cleaned', 'extra bond for doggie' etc are not legal and not enforceable by the TT. The TT are actually really good at interrupting what is considered "reasonably clean and tidy" for my experience (as an observer). Photos of course would help, but as you took entry photos and the PM firm would have taken exit photos they should provide a good comparison.

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  # 1024989 14-Apr-2014 16:41
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Here is an excerpt out of the Citizens Advice Bureau New Zealand website:

My tenancy agreement has a clause that states there will be an automatic $300 deduction from the bond for cleaning at the end of the tenancy. Is this legal?
This is not legally allowed.  It is also unlawful to put a clause into your tenancy agreement to order that the house be professionally cleaned at the end of your tenancy.  At the end of your tenancy, you are expected to leave the property in the state it was when you moved in, and you have to leave it reasonably clean and tidy. If you do not leave it sufficiently clean the landlord can deduct bond money for any necessary cleaning.


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