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September 21, 2009 | by  | in Features |
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Stupid people and other tenancy woes

A number of years ago I worked as a Tenancy Officer. That’s right, 3 years at university got me a job giving advice to whiney landlords and tenants who were more interested in bitching about how bad they had it than resolving any particular issues they had.

I find myself back at university and realise that I can still help people with their problems, this time however I don’t have to be all nice about it. I can be mean and spiteful while doing it, which is nice, as being mean and spiteful tends to be in my nature.

I’m going to start by providing some advice on an issue that is close to my heart. It is not close to my heart because I have enjoyed dealing with it. It’s close to my heart because most people tend to the moronic and fuck it up and when people fuck up I am granted the opportunity to insult them. Ahh the sweet taste of an insult directed at some moronic figure of whom is almost in tears because of their own ineptitude, its like honey on the tongue (unless you don’t like honey, then its nothing like honey on the tongue).

The issue: Change of Tenant forms. A form you ask, “pfft I can fill out a form” you exclaim. WRONG bitches. This form causes more suffering than a bunch of drunken uni students with a singstar.

A Change of Tenant form is used to alter the details Tenancy Services (part of the Department of Building and Housing) maintains to deal with bonds; it has nothing to do with the tenancy agreement between the tenants and the landlord. I would explain what bonds are to those of you who do not know what they are, but I really am too lazy to bother. When a bond is lodged with Tenancy Services both the tenants and landlords sign the Bond Lodgement form. When the bond needs to be returned to the tenants or the landlord if the tenants have been naughty the Bond Refund form is signed by those who signed the Bond Lodgement form. Simple. Match the signatures from the first form with the signatures from the last form and kablam, away you go.

Now what about when your old flatmate Jim decided to take a trip up north. Jim proceeded to fall into the hole that is Palmerston North and now is unable to make his way back home. Luckily Palmy has carrier pigeons and he was able to ask you to remove him from the rental agreement. In his place Victoria, the oh so shagable Swedish student, promptly takes his place in your shit hole of a flat. Tenancy ends and lo and behold Victoria can’t get her money back from the bond centre because she isn’t a party to the bond because you being a dipshit didn’t organise a Change of Tenant form. Then proceeds the painful process of having to get Jim to sign something stating that he is no longer a tenant which may be difficult as the hole that is Palmy just keeps getting deeper. Added to that you also need all the other tenants to agree to the fact that Victoria is actually entitled to her amount of the bond. This would be easy if it weren’t for the fact that your other flatmate has pissed off on her OE. So the sad end to the story is that Victoria doesn’t get her money back and you don’t get laid, not that you would have anyway.

Yes this does happen, often. How many times did I speak with someone who simply didn’t take 5 minutes to read through the form so that they understood its purpose or how to complete it correctly?

So very, very many. What a large number of people do not realise is that, if you cannot provide the information that the Bond Centre needs to have the bond dealt with in the correct manner, they keep the money. This isn’t some Government conspiracy, nor is it a plot to take your money and spend it on hookers and booze for the employees of DBH (my suggestions were never taken seriously). It’s a simple matter of procedure; they need to know that the correct people are entitled to the correct amounts of money.

So if tenants change or bond money changes hands for some reason jump onto the Tenancy website spend 5 minutes to look at the forms then fill out the correct one and send it in. If you are to stupid to figure it out, ring the 0800 number provided, outline your situation and ask them to tell you what to do. If a difficulty arises due to a bond it’s most likely the tenants or the landlords fault. Rarely is the Bond Centres to blame.

And no, a Change of Tenant form is not the same as a Bond Transfer form. A change of tenant form changes who has access to the bond. A bond transfer form moves the bond from one tenancy to another (one address to another). If you are still having trouble with this concept you fail at real life and you may as well take up a MMORPG. But not World of Warcraft because that’s an awesome MMORPG.

Pendragon: your not-so-friendly tenancy guy.

For more info see the Department of Building and Housing website www.dbh.govt.nz. For tenancy advice you can also call Tenancy Services on 0800 83 62 62. For bond enquiries you can call 0800 73 76 66.

Got a tenancy issue you think I should consider? Flick me an email at pendragon@comic.com.

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