Powerline pressure

Question from Colleen updated on 9th November 2011:

Can a power line supplier company force a landlord to sign a contract stating he/she will be accountable for any unpaid tenant powerbills when the tenancy ends?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 only applies to the relationship between a tenant and landlord. It does not cover the relationship between a landlord and a third party (such as a power company). You may wish to seek independent legal advice from a solicitor or your local community law centre to determine what obligation there is to sign the contract, and what liability it will entail. To discuss your situation further, or for information about power charges, 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.

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