Tenant Fined Sets Precedent

gavelTenants need to know they are now on notice regarding smoke alarms. The Tenancy Tribunal fined a Hamilton tenant for tampering with smoke alarms this month setting a new case-law precedent for future cases.

Landlords and property managers have taken notice of this outcome and it can be said the Residential Tenancy Amendments Act 2016 (RTAA) effective 1 July 2016 is now very much part of Tenancy Tribunal legislation ‘tool-kit’.

Rental properties managed by absent Landlords are most at risk says a spokesperson at Auckland property management firm Pedersens Property Management. Property managers are busy right now ensuring their landlord clients are fully aware of the RTAA and that their properties are compliant.

The other major ruling in the RTAA is the requirements around rental property insulation. There is some lee time to fully comply i.e. have adequate insulation of a minimum thickness however as from the beginning of last month Landlords need to give a statement on the state of insulation in their properties.

As of the 1st July this year, every new Tenancy Agreement has to state the level of insulation in the property. This means that when a tenant gives notice or a fixed term tenancy ends, somebody has to assess every property for insulation and give an accurate description as failure to do so will be deemed to be an unlawful act.

That notice is on every property management statement we receive however Landlords not using property managers are not getting regular reminders so they are more likely to fall through the cracks and may be caught out.

Tenants can take Landlords to the Tenancy Tribunal for non compliance of the Residential Tenancy Amendments Act 2016 so it may not be long before we hear of another ruling this time in favour of the tenant. Landlords, it’s fair to say you too have been put on notice!

This blog article was written for PropertyBlogs by Mobilize Mail.

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