Battling the landlord

Question from Serena updated on 5th April 2017:

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? 

Our expert Allan Galloway responded:

A landlord, including any agent acting on their behalf, may enter the premises to do any maintenance or repairs you have asked to be fixed with the required 24 hours’ notice or with your agreement. If necessary, a landlord or their agent may also bring with them trades persons to assist with repairs.

Speak with your landlord in the first instance to determine when the work will be finalised if the requested maintenance and repairs are not completed by the expiry of the notice to remedy. If you are unable to reach a workable solution between you, then you can make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved.

Tenants have a right to quiet enjoyment of their rental home. Landlords should take care not to include any of the tenants’ belongings in any photos they may need to take of the interior of the premises, such as when taking a photo of repair work or damage. If the landlord has taken photos of tenants possessions, rather than the repair or damage, and the tenant considers that this has breached their reasonable peace, comfort, or privacy this should be raised with the landlord and followed up in writing requiring this practice to stop.

For more on the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, visit our website at .

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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