My rental is not clean, is the property manager accountable?

Iain Bremner asks:
(updated on Thursday, August 07th 2008)

My daughter's property was thoroughly clean when let to tenants by her property manager. When these tenants moved out, my daughter found flyspots on ceilings, skirtings and walls, food residue around the oven door, and soap scum in and around the dishwasher door and fittings. The property manager however claims it is 'reasonably clean' but we disagree. Who is right?

Our Experts Answer:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, tenants have to leave the property reasonably clean and reasonably tidy at the end of the tenancy. However, the Act does not state what standard of cleanliness is required to meet this obligation. If a landlord and tenant disagree whether the tenant has left the property reasonably clean and reasonably tidy, then they may apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to resolve their dispute. However, the Tenancy Tribunal is not able to resolve disputes between a property owner and their agent. If your daughter cannot reach an agreement with her property manager about this matter, she may wish to seek advice from her 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.

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