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.

Valid tenancy agreement?

Mike asks:

I was looking to rent a property but dealing with the property manager has really put us off the place. We were offered the property to which I responded with a request to review the property again before any agreements or documents were signed. We were rudely declined and they persisted with urging us to sign and pay the letting fee - which we never did. We then turned down the property and now the property manager wants to hold us liable for rent and the letting fee if they cannot find another tenant. Can this be done? Nothing has been agreed to or signed.

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Insuring for Airbnb

Joanne asks:


We recently changed our rental property from a long-term to a short-term, furnished rental - listed on Airbnb and BookaBach. We have also converted a room downstairs into an office space for us, in part to give us a reason for regular access and lower risk of damage/inappropriate use compared to a standard tenancy.

We're having a few issues with house/contents insurance. Essentially, we are getting shifted into the commercial building category. This means it is much more expensive and is triggering extra requirements around fire protection, etc. I also suspect our insurer is not adequately covering us for residential contents that we've furnished the accommodation with.

Do you have any recommendations for which insurers may be familiar with the Airbnb type scenario?





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Domestic violence damage

Trish asks:

Can a landlord pursue a tenant for damage done by a boarder during a domestic violence incident? There is a police report outlining the damage - which is a fist-sized hole in the wall - and charges are pending against the boarder. The tenant did not foresee the situation and could not reasonably stop the boarder. So who can the landlord pursue in this instance? The boarder was noted on the tenancy agreement.



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