Treat rental properties as a business

Saturday 30 March 2019

The need for landlords to treat their rental properties as a business is highlighted by three new Tenancy Tribunal rulings.

By The Landlord

Landlords from Auckland, Wanganui and Wellington have been ordered to pay a total of nearly $17,000 due to Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team (TCIT) investigations.

Auckland landlord Peter Wheeler, who owns five boarding houses, was ordered to pay $12,344.64 for failing to lodge tenants’ bond money as required by the Residential Tenancies Act.

The Tenancy Tribunal adjudicator described the actions of Wheeler as being “intended to avoid the need to forward bond money to the Bond Centre” and “to avoid future scrutiny by the Tenancy Tribunal”.

Wanganui Home Maintenance Limited was ordered to pay $3563.52 across eight applications for failing to lodge bonds, failing to maintain the premises, and providing misleading insulation statements.

Wellington Landlord Perry Rama agreed to pay $1000 after he allowed tenants to return to their rented property while it was still the subject of a ‘Dangerous Building Notice’ issued by the Wellington City Council.

He also agreed to pass the management of the properties on to a property management company.

TCIT acting national manager Peter Hackshaw says they proactively assess and investigate landlords to ensure they are treating their rental properties as a business and complying with their responsibilities.

“Landlords who are not meeting their obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act can expect to be held to account, as is the case with these three landlords.”

He says that tenants need to trust that their landlords are doing what they need to do under New Zealand’s tenancy law from the start of the relationship.

“Failing to lodge bond money is a breach of this trust, as is providing inaccurate information on insulation.

“If landlords don’t have the time and knowledge to manage their rental properties as a business, they should pass them on to someone who does.”

MBIE’s tenancy compliance team, which was established in July 2016, focuses on significant or ongoing breaches of the RTA which pose a significant risk to vulnerable tenants.

Read more:

Keep on top of maintenance issues 

Don’t neglect tenant safety 

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