Chattel conditions

Question from Merania updated on 18th April 2017:

I rented out a furnished property. The tenant has complained constantly that the fridge makes a noise and wants me to buy a new one. It is a fridge that I have used for many years and it always served its purpose. She signed a year's lease, then after a month gave 90 days' notice. With less than a month before she vacates, an I obliged to replace the fridge?

Our expert Allan Galloway responded:

Landlords are responsible for maintaining their rental premises in a reasonable state of repair, which includes any furniture or chattels that are provided as part of the tenancy. The requirement to replace any chattels (such as a fridge) will depend on their condition. You need to be sure that the current condition of the fridge is sufficient to comply with meeting your obligations of keeping the chattels in a reasonable state of repair.

Further, a fixed-term tenancy cannot be ended early by giving notice, as this only applies to a periodic tenancy. However, if both the landlord and tenant agree, then the fixed-term tenancy can be ended early by mutual agreement. For more on the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, go to www.tenancy.govt.nz or subscribe to our e-newsletter Landlord News.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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