March 6, 2019

What maintenance must I do when I rent a property?

What maintenance do my property manager and landlord take care of?

Rentals.co. prides itself on having a good system for handling maintenance requests for rental homes in Whangarei and Northland. All tenants needing maintenance taken care of need to record the maintenance request on this repair form. Assuming it’s the responsibility of the landlord, that request will be processed.  

Did you know…

  • If a tenant (or invited guests) intentionally damages the landlord’s property, the tenant must tell the landlord. The landlord can ask the tenant to repair the damage, or to pay the cost of replacement or repair.
  • If damage is caused by carelessness and the damage is covered by the landlord’s insurance, the tenant will typically not be liable for the cost of repairs, unless it was the result of an imprisonable offence.
  • Tenants are not liable for purely natural disaster damage caused by fire, flood, explosion, lightning, storm, earthquake or volcanic activity.
  • Tenants cannot renovate, alter or add fixtures to garden sheds, spa pools, heat pumps, security alarms and lights, clotheslines and panel heaters.
  • The landlord is responsible for insurance excess costs and cannot pass these costs on to their tenants.
  • A landlord can’t give notice to end a tenancy because the tenant has asked for repair or maintenance work to be done. This is called a retaliatory notice.
  • If disrepair is likely to cause injury to people or property, a tenant can have repair work done and ask the landlord to pay them for it. A landlord must pay the tenant back for any urgent repair work the tenant had to have done, as long as the tenant made reasonable attempts to let the landlord know first.
  • Examples of fair wear and tear deterioration which typically a tenant doesn’t have to pay for include flooring getting worn, taps and washers in the kitchen being worn out, bathroom or laundry wearing out or leaking, or a stove element wearing out from normal cooking

Confused about who’s responsible for what at your Whangarei rental property?

Please enjoy this simple guide, with thanks to MBIE’s Tenancy Services.

Who’s Responsible for what area of maintenance at rental property?

Asbestos: The landlord must manage asbestos at the property.

Chimney: Cleaning the chimney is usually the landlord’s responsibility. The tenant is responsible for cleaning the ashes from the hearth.

Digital TV, phone and internet: When landlords install digital TV they must also repair and maintain the equipment. If a property is not set up to receive digital TV, they don’t have to install or upgrade equipment to receive it. Tenants can remove their fixtures at the end of a tenancy as long as it doesn't cause irreparable damage.

Insulation: Landlords must provide ceiling and underfloor insulation in all rental homes from July 1 2019

Light bulbs: Both landlord and tenant. The Residential Tenancies Act does not cover who is responsible for supplying or replacing light bulbs. Agree on this in the tenancy agreement.

Locks: Landlords must provide and maintain locks (or similar devices) so the property is reasonably secure.

Mould and damp prevention: Tenants must keep the property in a condition that doesn’t encourage preventable mould and damp from wet laundry, cooking pots, too many plants and bathrooms not being ventilated (water is a big issue when renting a home in subtropical Northland)

Mowing the lawn: Tenants must keep the property reasonably clean and tidy. This includes mowing the lawns and weeding the gardens. Tenants won't have to do this if the landlord has agreed to do it in the tenancy agreement.

Pruning trees: Landlords are usually responsible for pruning and maintaining trees, shrubs and hedges.

Security alarm system: If a landlord provides a security alarm system they are responsible for maintaining it. If there is no security alarm and a tenant would like to install one, they must get the landlord’s permission. The tenant is then responsible for maintaining it.

Smoke alarms: Working smoke alarms or detectors are compulsory in all rental homes. Tenants have to change expired batteries.

Windows: A tenant only has to clean the windows if they are safely accessible. The landlord is usually responsible for outside cleaning and maintenance tasks. For example house-washing or gutter cleaning.

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