Landlord inspection rights
Question from John updated on 10th May 2019:
In a situation where the owner of a property grants a lease, and then subsequently engages a property manager to act as landlord, can the owner then claim landlord's right of entry to inspect or perform work at the property? There seem to be Tenancy Tribunal decisions which indicate that an owner forgoes their right to inspect once an agent has been engaged.
Our expert Bernard Parker responded:
From a practical point of view, if the landlord has engaged a property manager you would expect that the property manager would carry out the inspections. On the other hand, it is acceptable for the landlord to do their own inspections despite employing a property manager. What can pose problems is when both parties are doing inspections.
The Residential Tenancies Act specifies how frequently inspections may be done. The landlord (and their agent) must ensure that the tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the property is not breached. Too many inspections may be considered to breach that tenant right.
However, an owner may occasionally wish to inspect their property in order to plan on-going maintenance requirements, even though the bulk of inspections are regularly done by the property manager. This is quite reasonable, provided that sufficient notice is given to the tenant. It is not uncommon for a property owner to choose to do maintenance on their own property, even if the property is managed by a property manager. A landlord has that right.
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 22 years.