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Who is responsible for damage to a Rental Property?

April 14th, 2013 -

Most of us at some stage in our lives will be either Tenants or Landlords of a residential property. Some of us will have memories from our student flatting days of flats that were in serious need of repair and maintenance!

Generally the Landlord is responsible to keep the property maintained and attend to any necessary repairs caused by fair wear and tear. This includes such things as ensuring the property is clean and tidy before a new tenant moves in, making sure that the locks work and the property is secure, ensuring the plumbing, electrical wiring and the structure of the building are all safe and in working order. The Landlord is also responsible for maintaining the garden and any lawns, unless it is specifically stated in the lease that this is the Tenants responsibility.

The Tenant is required to keep the property clean and tidy, repair and pay for any damage that the Tenant or visitors of the Tenant cause either on purpose or by being careless.

The Tenant may also be liable for repairs where they were aware repairs were required but failed to advise the Landlord and the damage became worse as a result of not notifying the Landlord. That is why it is important for a Tenant to advise the Landlord as soon as the Tenant is aware of any damage to the property or of anything that needs to be repaired before it gets worse.

What if the Landlord refuses to undertake required repairs? If the Tenant has made a reasonable attempt to contact the Landlord regarding the repair work and the Landlord refuses to undertake that work then if it is serious or urgent the Tenant can undertake the work and request compensation from the Landlord. The Tenant can also issue the Landlord with a notice requesting the Landlord to complete the repairs within 14 days and if that notice is not complied with, the Tenant can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for an order that the repair work is carried out.

If you are either a Landlord or Tenant requiring advice regarding maintenance obligations or any other obligations under a Tenancy Agreement you can contact the Tenancy Tribunal.

If you require a personal loan for repairs you can apply online at www.easybanking.co.nz.  We would be happy to discuss your requirements.

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