Landlord not up to scratch

Question from john updated on 7th November 2012:

We've moved into a rental property on a fixed term of six months. While viewing it there were numerous issues regarding cleaning the property, removing stuff (including a fridge), water blasting, fumigating and so on. The property manager promised to hand over a clean and livable house. All the required money has been paid and we moved in. But nothing mentioned above has been complied with and the answer from the property manager is that she would get it all done. We encounter different pests and insects which we feel could prove dangerous to our health and peaceful living. I request your opinion on this serious issue. We wish to live with dignity and avoid all conflicts.

Our expert Megan Martin responded:

The Residential Tenancies Act (the Act) requires that a landlord provides premises in a reasonably clean and tidy condition. If you believe that your landlord has not complied with their obligations, you should discuss the matter with them in the first instance. If discussing the matter with your landlord does not help, you may issue the landlord with 14 days’ written notice to remedy the breach. Notices to remedy a breach must be in writing, so you will need to allow the correct time for the notices to be properly served. You should also keep a copy of the notice should you need to refer to it in the future. A template for 14 days’ notice and information about service times can be found on the Department of Building and Housing’s website (http://www.dbh.govt.nz/pub-sorting-out-problems). If the landlord does not comply with the notice, you can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved. To discuss your situation further, or for information about applying to the Tenancy Tribunal, you can visit the Department’s website (www.dbh.govt.nz), or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

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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