Tenancy Expert

Ask Allan Galloway, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment questions relating to tenants and landlords

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

Landlord without boundaries

Dee asks:

I am renting a house through a property manager, but the owner has recently shown up to complete minor renovations. For the past five weeks, he has been here every single day. However, he has not finished one single project he has started.

During this time we haven’t been able to use the property to the full extent as he is using the garage as his kitchen/coffee making area and storing his food in our garage fridge. His workmanship is dangerous for our kids, leaving exposed nails, holes in decking and tools/rubbish all over the yard. He also turns up uninvited to sit and drink coffee outside the garage for hours on end and sometimes during the night without explanation.

The situation is stressful and inconvenient for myself and my family – particularly as he keeps changing his date of completion. However, he refuses to deal with me through the agent or put anything in writing. Can I claim some sort of exemplary compensation through the Tenancy Tribunal?



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Dusty carpets

Rajeev asks:

I would like to find out about carpets in a rental property. We are currently renting and the carpets in the property are very old and worn out. I vacuum them twice a week and every time it almost fills up the vacuum container with really fine dust.

I would like to find out if I have any grounds to ask the landlord to replace the carpets. I am afraid they may affect our health, especially as my daughter is already borderline asthmatic. I have not yet said anything to our property manager.


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Rent reduction for sub-division

Jacqui asks:

The house in question has been sold keeping the existing tenants. The current property included a big back yard and garage. But the back yard is now being sub-divided which means the garage will be demolished.

The tenants will have to store their belongings from the garage elsewhere and there will no longer be a backyard as the contractors will be running services, ripping up the driveway and putting a house on the backyard. Are the tenants entitled to a rent reduction?




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