A 71 year old dampness law has been brought up and used in favour of tenants in the Tenancy Tribunal over the last couple of years, and Rentals.co, your rental experts, has guidance about what this means for renters and landlords.
The little-known Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 s45(1) sections B and C specify that “A landlord is required to provide and maintain the premises in a reasonable state of repair, and to keep the property free from dampness.”
Have you heard of this regulation? Few have – and, consequently, landlords unaware about the regulation are being pinged by the Tenancy Tribunal.
It was around 2015 that awareness of this law returned. In just Wellington and Dunedin in 2017 alone, the standard was cited over 30 times by Tenancy Tribunal adjudicators.
The New Zealand Universities Law Review published a study that year in which VUW and Otago university academics highlighted the law to be cited in favour of families up before the Tenancy Tribunal.
In 2014, Wellington-based Otago University researchers released a report on a rental housing warrant of fitness scheme, which was piloted in 144 houses in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. Only eight houses passed the warrant's minimum standards nationwide. While WOFs for houses aren’t happening, new insulation rules give landlords until 2019 to have attic and underfloor insulation completed (contact Rentals.co to be put in touch with an insulation provider).
Meanwhile, some helpful advice from MBIE’s Tenancy Services:
If you have an urgent maintenance request, please click the Repair or Request Form on this page (www.rentalexperts.co.nz/tenants).
If you’re a landlord wanting to know more about your obligations and responsibilities and how Rentals.co and ease the burden, please get in touch (www.rentalexperts.co.nz/contact).
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