Question Details: I have paid the deposit to move into a property, but have not signed the tenancy agreement. I changed my mind about renting the property. Can I recover the deposit?
Filed under Tenancy | 1663 View(s)
No, you probably cannot recover your deposit. The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 provides that parts of a tenancy agreement that are not in writing can still be enforced. In your case you paid a deposit on the understanding that you were going ahead with the tenancy agreement. From this action you and the landlord appear to have agreed that the that the tenancy would go ahead. That agreement is unwritten, but probably enforceable. It depends on the circumstances, but changing your mind is of itself not good reason to receive all your deposit back. It may also depend on how much deposit you paid, and whether the deposit was an "option" to keep the rental available for you, or whether it was the bond and first couple of weeks' rent. Read more here: www.communitylaw.org.nz or call 0800 TENANCY for more information.
If you cannot agree with your landlord you should look at www.tenancy.govt.nz for information about resolving tenancy disputes.
Answered 5 Dec 2013. The IMPORTANT NOTICE below is part of this answer.
The answer provided above is intended for general informational purposes only and cannot be
considered a substitute for face-to-face legal advice. It should not be relied upon as the sole
basis for taking action in relation to a legal issue. Laws change frequently, and small
variations in the facts, or a fact not provided in the question, can often change a legal
outcome or a lawyer’s conclusion. No liability whatsoever is accepted by the authors or
publishers of the answer, for loss, damage or inconvenience arising in any way from the use of
this site. While each answer has been published by a lawyer with a practising certificate, that
person may not necessarily have experience in the particular area of law involved.