Open home issues

Question from Falakiko updated on 23rd March 2012:

My landlord has recently decided to sell the house that I am renting. Do I have to let real estate agents bring people through? I am on a fixed term tenancy until June. I have allowed real estate agents to come through to get the information they need to put the house on the market. Also to take photos, although not in the bedrooms or lounge. The house is now posted online with photos and the address. Am I the only one who thinks this isn't right? Now they have asked if we would consider an open home. Am I being unreasonable? My home is very private - a place for me, my family and my friends.

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, landlords must obtain the tenant’s prior consent to show the premises to prospective purchasers. However, it is important to note that a tenant cannot unreasonably refuse consent (and doing so amounts to an unlawful act) but may attach reasonable conditions to that consent. I suggest you discuss access times with your landlord to try and reach an agreement over viewing times that are reasonable to both parties. Landlords also have a responsibility to ensure that they do not interfere with a tenant’s reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of the premises. It is reasonable to expect a landlord to provide information on the property when advertising it for sale but if you have concerns regarding the way it is advertised (e.g. any photos that contain your possessions) then you should discuss these concerns with your landlord. To discuss your situation further, or for information about when properties are placed on the market, you can visit the Department’s website (www.dbh.govt.nz), or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

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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