Failure in duties
Question from Terry updated on 3rd April 2020:
We have just had tenants vacate our rental property after two years and they have left quite a bit of damage and the place really unclean. It turns out our property management company hadn't been inspecting as per our agreement (every 90 days and four of eight completed). I was only ever emailed two inspection reports during the tenancy. The tenants were in breach of their tenancy agreement by having dogs (one was a mastiff and inside during work hours), who have badly damaged internal doors, walls, windows sills and carpet.
In February this year, a neighbour emailed complaints to our property manager who never forwarded them to me as owner, and never acted upon them. The complaints involved intimidation of neighbours on both sides of the rental. Also, apparently, police have been involved with tenants. The property management company have offered $500 to me as goodwill gesture but I think that's insulting. They clearly haven't done their job. They are pursuing the tenants for rent arrears and damage - as yet to be determined.
Our expert Bernard Parker responded:
It seems that your property management company has failed to keep up with the duties that the management agreement required. The company is required to act in the best interests of its client. Failing to do the required frequency of inspections has perhaps resulted in the company’s failure to detect and act on the tenant’s breaches (e.g. damage and dogs in the property). I suggest you document your issues fully and then talk with your property manager and see if you can achieve a settlement that you consider fair and reasonable. If you can’t agree you still have an opportunity to make a claim against the company in the Disputes Tribunal.
Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.