New renters' guide for tenants
Tuesday, 22 September 2020
Far too many tenants are not aware of their obligations around their rental property so a new guide aims to spell out what they need to know and do.
By The Landlord
There’s a number of contentious rental property issues that cause disputes between landlords and tenants on a regular basis.
Just take a look at some Tenancy Tribunal rulings and you’ll see just how often disagreements over cleaning and maintenance of rental properties are the root cause of problems.
Unfortunately, many tenants – and some landlords – are not aware of their responsibilities in this area.
That’s why REINZ has today launched a new plain English guide for first-time renters.
REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell says the aim of the guide is to try and reduce the number of cases that end up in the Tribunal for issues that could be resolved earlier.
Renting can be a confusing and daunting process, so the guide outlines some of the key questions people have before they sign an agreement, during their tenancy and when they want to leave their rental property, she says.
“For example, one of the biggest areas of confusion is around cleaning when you leave your rental property. The rules are very clear – the property does not need to be professionally cleaned but needs to be left in a reasonably clean condition.
“But time and time again, there are disputes around cleaning. This means paying attention to areas such as the kitchens, oven, bathrooms, skirtings/windowsills and if the lawns/grounds are part of your responsibility, these should be mowed and tidy.”
The guide covers key areas such as the level of bond a landlord or property manager can ask for, the Healthy Homes Standards, insurance, notice to inspect and how many weeks rent can be asked for in advance.
It also covers issues such as concerns around maintenance and repairs and retaliatory notices.
Norwell says one thing they hear time and time again is that tenants don’t report issues with the property to their landlord or property manager in a timely manner.
“The guide points out that tenants have a legal responsibility to report any repairs or maintenance required to the property to the landlord or property manager in order to prevent further damage."
*The REINZ guide is available to download here.