Landlords' bad inspection timing!

Question from Matt updated on 22nd November 2012:

What recourse do I have if my landlord persists with making inspections without notice and while no one is home?

Our expert Megan Martin responded:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, a landlord is required to give the tenant at least 48 hours notice (and no more than 14 days notice) of a property inspection. The notice is not required to be in writing, but must specify the day the inspection will take place, and an inspection cannot be carried out within 4 weeks after a previous inspection. Where sufficient notice has been provided, the landlord may enter the premises to carry out a property inspection any time between 8am and 7pm on the day specified in the notice, and the inspection may be carried out regardless of whether the tenant is present at the property. Where a landlord does not provide sufficient notice to inspect the property, the tenant should discuss the matter with the landlord in the first instance to try and resolve the issue, reminding the landlord of their obligations in respect of entry for the purpose of a property inspection (it is also recommended that this is followed up in writing, with a copy retained). If this does not resolve the matter, either party may apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to resolve the situation. Also worth noting is that although tenants are not able to refuse the landlord entry to carry out a property inspection if notice has been properly given, if the day the landlord has specified the inspection will take place is not suitable then you can discuss this with your landlord – your landlord may be willing to change the inspection date to a day that is suitable to both parties. To discuss your situation further, or for information on property inspections or 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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