A quick guide to tenants rights and responsibilities

An interesting article from a fellow colleague, Barry Bridgman from Bridgman Property Management Ltd in Auckland.

When you're renting a property, knowing what your rights and responsibilities are is essential. Both are protected by law, and they make your time as a tenant easy.

Barry Bridgman, a leading property manager in Auckland says that most of the time, renting a property is a stress-free experience. Once you're settled in, you can look forward to enjoying your new home. In order for this to happen, both you and your landlord need to learn about your rights and responsibilities. The law protects tenants' rights and responsibilities.

Tenants' rights and responsibilities before renting a property

Prior to renting a property, it's mainly the landlord who has rights and responsibilities. If you're a tenant, all you need to do is provide accurate information during the referencing and credit check process. Not doing so constitutes fraud.

What you must do as a tenant while renting a property

First and foremost, you have a duty to pay the rent, preferably on time. If, for any reason, you're going to be late in paying the rent, you need to let the landlord or property manager know. You also need to pay it as soon as possible.

While living in the property, you need to keep it reasonably clean and tidy. There's no such thing as a fine line between clutter and mess. If your property isn't hygienic and you're not tidying on a regular basis, you're not meeting your obligations as a tenant. There will probably come a time when something needs repairing. When this happens, you must let the landlord know promptly.

For landlords to make repairs, they need to enter the property. They should give you 24 hours' notice, and you can't be unreasonable in terms of access. In the case of emergency repairs, landlords don't need to give notice. Your landlord has a right to inspect the property periodically, but they can't do this more than once every four weeks. They must give 48 hours' notice, in writing, before an inspection takes place.

You have a right to live as you wish in the property you're renting, but there are some small rules you must pay attention to. This includes not letting too many people occupy the property. In addition, you can't sublet or pass the tenancy on if the landlord says you can't. To make the most of utilities, you need to pay for them. Unless your contract states otherwise, you're the one who's responsible for gas, water, and electricity.

Tenants must refrain from illegal activities and they should prevent others engaging in illegal activities while at their property. You can't threaten or assault neighbours, the landlord, or other building occupants. In addition, you cannot be a nuisance to your neighbours, such as making ridiculous amounts of noise. Finally, you can't change the locks without letting the landlord know first.

Your rights and responsibilities as you end the tenancy

Your landlord must give you 90 days' notice before terminating the tenancy. There are two main exceptions to this rule. The first is when the landlord sells the property. They must let you know that this is being done, and they need to give 42 days' notice once a sale is complete. The second is when the landlord needs to move in a family member instead. Again, they must give 42 days' notice.

You cannot stay beyond the end of the tenancy without the landlord's permission. When you do leave, you must hand over the keys, leave everything the landlord owns, leave the property tidy, and remove your goods.

If you'd like to ensure your rental experience is smooth, choosing the right property management team is essential. Shop around before you make your decision.


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