Inspection requirements

Question from Niki updated on 23rd November 2018:

Can an agent for the landlord request a house inspection every three months and require the house to be like nobody lives in it? The rental agency I am with conducts house inspections every three months. I have reactions to chemicals and so do my children. But they are expecting that I have the oven sprayed and cleaned, my walls and ceilings washed every three months and every other aspect of the house like it has never been touched. Can you please advise on what tenancy law requires.

 

 

Our expert Jennifer Sykes responded:

Landlords have the right to inspect a rental property every four weeks unless the tenancy agreement says otherwise. However, it is more common for inspections to be done anywhere between three to six months. Landlords must give a minimum of 48 hours’ notice to the tenant, preferably in writing, if they wish to go into the house to do an inspection.

Inspections can be a good way for the landlord to check that there is no damage that needs urgent attention. They are also an opportunity for tenants to let the landlord know if anything needs to be repaired as part of the property maintenance.

Tenants are required to keep the property in a reasonably clean and tidy condition, so both landlords and tenants need to communicate with each other first when there are different expectations about the standard of cleanliness.

“Reasonably clean and tidy” can be subjective to each person, but it does not mean the property should be kept in pristine or perfect condition. Therefore requests for excessive cleaning may be considered unreasonable. If they cannot reach an agreement between themselves on what is reasonably clean and tidy, then either the landlord or tenant can make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved.

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