Rental properties have long been a popular investment for Kiwis. While there are many advantages in owning rental properties, as a landlord you have some significant responsibilities. The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 sets out the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants.
As a landlord you’re obliged to ensure that during the term of the lease, your property is maintained in a reasonable state of repair having regard to the age and character of the property. You must also comply with the requirements of other legislation in respect to building, health and safety issues.
It may be unlawful if you don’t comply with your obligations to maintain your property. It may also become expensive if a breach is established and your tenant brings a successful claim for losses in the Tenancy Tribunal. You would need to pay compensation to your tenant for reasonable expenses they may have incurred in having repairs carried out when you haven’t done so in the required timeframe. In some situations your tenant may need to be accommodated elsewhere while work is being done, all at your cost.
We recommend landlords familiarise themselves with their obligation to maintain their properties. It’s prudent to have a maintenance programme for each property and respond swiftly to any issues raised by your tenants. Otherwise, what started as something minor could become costly and stressful – for both you and your tenants.
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