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.

Leaving unsafe rental

Claire asks:

We signed a six month tenancy agreement, but the flat was broken into a week later and we have since moved out as we do not feel safe. The landlord has advised us that he will try to find someone to take over our tenancy and we will continue to pay rent until someone new takes over.

The burglars were able to kick down the front door, which could probably be done again. Also, one of the windows is not secure. We flagged this to the landlord the first week we moved in, but it has not been fixed. The landlord has fitted an alarm since we moved out.

What are our options regarding ending our tenancy agreement and bond? Do they differ from the normal tenancy rules as the flat does not feel like a safe and secure environment for us or our possessions?

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Chattel conditions

Merania asks:

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?

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Battling the landlord

Serena asks:

I have rented an apartment for the past four years and have been a model tenant. Unfortunately, I have been battling with my illogical landlord for 30 weeks to get a few simple issues fixed. I phoned the tenancy commission and they advised to issue a request to remedy. The 14 day period ended today and not all issues have been addressed.

I gave permission for the landlord's son to enter the property yesterday to change to remedy certain issues. However, not all have been remedied. Additionally, he brought someone into the apartment with him which I did not authorise. Finally, he took photos which have details of my personal belongings. I am so stressed out by this ongoing battle and now feel as if my privacy has been violated.

Can you please advise as to whether he was allowed to bring someone with him without asking and whether he is allowed to take photos? Additionally, as the 'request to remedy' period is now up, would you advise that I proceed to the tenancy tribunal? 

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