Overcoming access issues with tenants when selling a rental
Question from Anna updated on 18th November 2010:
Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:
As you mentioned, tenants are required under the Residential Tenancies Act to allow reasonable access for landlords to show prospective purchasers through the premises. Where reasonable access is not granted, the landlord can give the tenant notice telling the tenant to allow reasonable access. The landlord should also keep a copy for themselves.
A template for notice can be downloaded from the Department of Building and Housing's website (www.dbh.govt.nz).
If the tenant does not comply with the notice, the landlord could apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to determine access times, or for the tenancy to be terminated (the Tribunal will determine the appropriate outcome). The landlord may also include as part of an application an order for exemplary damages, which can be a penalty payable by the tenant to the landlord for failure to allow reasonable access.
To discuss your situation further, or for information about applying to the Tenancy Tribunal, you can visit the Department of Building and Housing 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.