Bad tenants registry access

Justine asks:
(updated on Wednesday, February 01st 2012)

Do rental managers have access to a bad tenant file? Can a tenant refuse house access to real estate agents while they are away even if they are away up until the lease end? They offered access if we the landlord reduce the fixed settlement date to 3 weeks earlier. They also offered access while they are away in an earlier email and then changed mind and set out the condition. Thank you. Justine

Our Experts Answer:

The question of what makes a person a 'bad tenant' is often subjective. We often make our own judgements based on the experiences of previous landlords as well as a range of other factors. You should always carry out full reference checking before a tenant is accepted for a property. This should include checks with at least two prior landlords as well as personal referees (not simply 'friends' with mobile phones).

The Ministry of Justice website provides online enquiry into Tenancy Tribunal orders. If you really have a bad tenant, and you receive an order against them in the Tenancy Tribunal, the outcome will be published on the website for other prospective landlords to find.

Your question about access for real estate agents is covered in section 48 of the Residential Tenancies Act. The landlord may enter to show prospective purchasers or real estate agents engaged in selling the premises, at any time 'with the prior consent of the tenant'. Also, the tenant 'may not withhold his or her consent unreasonably'. Furthermore, it is deemed to be an unlawful act for the landlord to enter without permission, and conversely it is unlawful for the tenant to refuse access unreasonably.

Sounds non-committal and uncertain? Yes, it is. The bottom line is that reasonable access has to be negotiated between a landlord and a tenant (or, from a practical point of view, between a tenant and a real estate agent acting on the landlord’s behalf. If the tenant’s behaviour is such that the landlord is unable to pursue the sales process, then the landlord’s final option is to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for an order - either for access or, (if the tenancy has now ended) for compensation from the tenant for the unlawful withholding of consent.

Often the knowledge that a Tenancy Tribunal order will be published online for public access is enough to encourage both parties to reach a suitable arrangement on their own.

Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 22 years.

Select Home Loans 4.29
TSB Special 4.34
ICBC 4.39
HSBC Premier 4.39
Heartland Bank - Online 4.40
China Construction Bank Special 4.45
SBS Bank Special 4.55
Kainga Ora 4.57
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special 4.75
Kiwibank Special 4.85
AIA 4.85
Select Home Loans 4.86
Heartland Bank - Online 4.90
TSB Special 4.99
ICBC 5.09
HSBC Premier 5.15
SBS Bank Special 5.19
China Construction Bank Special 5.19
Kiwibank Special 5.19
AIA 5.35
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 5.35
First Credit Union Special 5.45
Select Home Loans 5.20
TSB Special 5.75
Kiwibank Special 5.79
HSBC Premier 5.89
ICBC 5.89
SBS Bank Special 5.95
BNZ - Classic 6.19
Resimac 6.33
China Construction Bank Special 6.35
Westpac Special 6.39
Kainga Ora 6.43
Select Home Loans 4.09
Heartland Bank - Online 4.10
Pepper Money 4.49
TSB Special 4.79
Liberty 4.84
Kiwibank Special 5.00
ICBC 5.25
Kainga Ora 5.43
China Construction Bank 5.50
Kiwibank 5.50
Kiwibank - Offset 5.50