Self styled property management is not a luxury afforded to New Zealand Landlords. While there is no Government body regulating the property management industry (yet) there is the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) that provides the dos and don’ts i.e. the legal boundaries for both tenants and landlords.
Landlords can and do come off worse when they ignore the RTA and they are called up to the tenancy tribunal. Not all tenants get it right either.
Conducting property inspections without giving the required notice catches a lot of Landlords and Tenants out. According to the Housing & Building Information page here it is one of the most common breaches of the RTA.
Stake Property Rentals recently took over the management of a property that was self managed by the landlord. A bad experience with the tenant was really the last straw for the landlord.
Shaun of Stake Property Rentals says….
“Recently a landlord turned up at his rental property to install a new mail box, as requested by the tenant. The tenant subsequently made a complaint because he thought the landlord should have given them 48 hours notice.
The Landlord unfortunately didn’t know is rights he thought 24 hours notice was sufficient. As it turns out it was more than the Landlord needed to give!
The RTA rules state: the landlord can come onto the section without giving notice as long as the tenants privacy is respected.
Therefore in this instance the landlord is quite within his rights to repair the letterbox without notice.”
Shaun goes on to say…..
“It should be made clear that property maintenance visits only require 24 hours notice, not to be confused with 48 hour notice for property inspections.”
In this case neither the Landlord nor the Tenant knew what rule applied. It was a lesson learned and while tenants can be more aware of their rights than the Landlord – if the property management is carried out by a professional property management company – they have the Landlord’s right covered.
Read our earlier article Can You Keep A Cool Head