Owners Going Abroad

propertyThe recent amendment to the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) has a significant change which will affect property owners who have a tenanted property in NZ, and who are intending to travel out of the country for more than 21 consecutive days.

Owners in this situation must now appoint a New Zealand based agent for the entire duration of the time that they will be out of the country. Failing to comply with this provision of the RTA by March 2011 could result in the awarding of costs to the tenant of up to $1000. The changes have been made to ensure that tenants are always able to contact a local agent working on behalf of the owner when they are out of the country.

Owners can choose either a professional management company or could elect to use someone such as a family member to manage their property whilst overseas. Prior to going overseas the tenant must be notified of the agent’s contact details and the bond centre must also be notified.

When deciding who will manage your property while you are overseas, remember that property management is simple when everything is going right, but ensure that whoever you choose is both prepared, and suitably experienced, to be able to deal with a tenancy emergency should one arise.

Refer Residential Tenancy Act – new section 16A