Banning rental vandal

Question from ruby updated on 30th April 2018:

We have a tenant who was the only one on the lease. But we were allowing her boyfriend to stay with her when he would come home from work (for a couple of weeks at a time). After a violent incident where he smashed a hole in the wall and a window, with her assistance we told him to leave and that he was not welcome back. Our tenant has decided to forgive him. However, when she asked if he was allowed to come back we clearly stated that he was not allowed back on the property.

We did our tenant a favour by not calling the police on him as she asked us not to and would just kick him out. Now we have found out she has been sneaking him over for weekends without our knowledge. Her attitude has become what are you going to do anyway. Can we tell our tenant that he is not allowed on the property as he vandalised it? We wish we had just called the police now. Can we give her formal notice that he is not allowed on property?

Our expert Jennifer Sykes responded:

A landlord can restrict the maximum number of people who can ordinarily live at a premises by putting this into the terms of the tenancy agreement. Where a tenant exceeds this maximum, the landlord can give the tenant a notice to remedy the breach, and if this is not complied with, can make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved.

If the tenancy agreement does not specify a maximum number of people who can ordinarily live at the premises, or if the tenant is not in breach of the terms of their agreement, the landlord cannot restrict who the tenant invites to the property to visit or otherwise live with them as a flatmate. However, tenants are accountable for any damage to the property caused by their invited guests.

For more on the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, go to www.tenancy.govt.nz or subscribe to our e-newsletter Landlord News here

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

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