Did you know that, each year, the Department of Building and Housing receives approximately 49,000 applications to the Tenancy Tribunal?
One of the most important ways of avoiding problems is by keeping in regular contact with your tenant and sorting out any problems as soon as they happen. (It’s a good idea to complete the landlord’s contact details form and give it to your tenant to make it easy for them to get in touch with you.)
It’s also important that you understand and follow your legal rights and responsibilities as a landlord under the Residential Tenancies Act.
The Act says you must:
- allow the tenant quiet enjoyment of the premises (which means not harassing the tenant or interfering with their reasonable peace, comfort and privacy, or allowing others to do so)
- comply with all building, health and safety standards that apply to the premises
- pay rates and insurance
- give the tenant appropriate receipts and statement for rent payments and written notice of any rent increase
- maintain the property in a reasonable state of repair during the tenancy
- tell the tenant in writing if the property is on the market for sale.
The Act also says that you must not:
- seize the tenant’s goods for any reason
- interfere with the supply of any services to the premises (such as gas, water, electricity supply or telephone)
- enter the property except as permitted by law or with the tenant’s consent
- unreasonably withhold permission for a tenant to attach any fixtures
- change the locks without the tenant’s consent
- unreasonably withhold permission for a tenant to sublet or assign the tenancy to someone else, if assigning or subletting is not prohibited by the tenancy agreement. (A landlord can set reasonable conditions on subletting or assigning. However, any discrimination in terms of the Human Rights Act is an unlawful act under the Residential Tenancies Act). To find out more, see our information sheet Discrimination in tenancy matters.
You could also consider joining the New Zealand Property Investors Association or hiring a property manager .