How do I resolve encroachment from my neighbors?
Question from John updated on 29th April 2011:
Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:
Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act), landlords have a responsibility to ensure that they do not interfere with the tenants’ quiet enjoyment of the premises, and they must also take all reasonable steps to ensure that none of their tenants interfere with the quiet enjoyment of their other tenants in the use of the premises.
You may wish to look at options that would prevent the stock from encroaching on the tenant’s property (e.g. fencing) to avoid further disturbance to the tenants. Please note, however, that the Act only applies to tenancies for residential premises and does not cover, for example, commercial leases or where the whole or a substantial part of the tenant's income is derived from the use of the premises for agricultural, pastoral, horticultural, or other similar purposes.
To help determine whether your situation is covered by the Act or not and, if so, what your responsibilities are, you can visit the Department’s website (www.dbh.govt.nz) or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262). You may also wish to seek independent legal advice from a solicitor, or your local community law centre.
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.