Do landlords pay to accommodate tenants whilst repair work carried out?

Question from Alex updated on 2nd August 2010:

My tenant reported water dribbling from the ceiling of the ground floor of my double storey house a few months ago. my builder and subsequently an architect investigated the issue. Eventually they found the cause of the leak, but the remedy includes changing the cladding for the upper storey and some windows of the house to comply with City Council new regulations. My tenant objected to having the work done now and wished us to postpone it for half a year after which they will move out. The question is do I have to compensate them for moving out if they want to do it now, and by how much. The second question is, if they stay and we commence the repair work, do we need to compensate them in anyway and by how much?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Landlords have an obligation to ensure premises are maintained in a reasonable state of repair, and comply with all the relevant health, safety, and building regulations. Where necessary maintenance or repairs are required, and access to the interior is essential, the landlord must give the tenant a minimum of 48 hours notice of entry.

However, landlords need to ensure they do not interfere with the tenant’s reasonable peace, comfort and privacy during the tenancy. I suggest you discuss further with your tenant the work that needs to be done, and negotiate a timeframe that will suit both parties for this. You may want to consider whether you offer the tenant compensation if the intended work will cause them undue disruption. There is no set amount for compensation; this should be discussed with your tenant to see if both parties can reach an agreement.

To discuss your situation further, or for advice about necessary maintenance and repairs, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262) You may also want to seek advice about the leaks from the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service. This is available from www.dbh.govt.nz, or by calling 0800 324 477.

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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