New Zealand Law Society - Landlords warned about tenancy obligations

Landlords warned about tenancy obligations

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Landlords and property management companies are on notice to ensure their properties meet the regulations set out in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), following a recent audit by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s Tenancy Compliance and Investigations team.

“Smoke alarms are now required in all rental properties, and all new tenancy agreements must include an insulation statement which details the location, type and condition of insulation in the property,” says Tenancy Compliance and Investigations team manager Steve Watson.

“The team was formed in July 2016 to monitor and enforce compliance with the RTA. We have the power to prosecute landlords who seriously or persistently breach basic housing standards,” says Mr Watson.

In November 2016, the team audited five property management companies, asking them to provide evidence that smoke alarms were installed in each of their properties, and that all new tenancy agreements contained the compulsory insulation statement.

The audit found varying levels of compliance and required action from some of the companies to ensure they met their obligations.

“I’m happy to report that all five property management companies are now fully compliant following the audit.

“Property management companies are acting on behalf of landlords, and as such, have a responsibility to ensure the properties they manage meet all legal requirements.

“This action should serve as a reminder that the Tenancy Compliance and Investigation team take breaches of residential tenancy law seriously, and are working to crack down on poor landlord behaviour across New Zealand,” Mr Watson says.