Property disclosure

Question from Ben updated on 10th August 2016:

How much information should your property manager / landlord disclose when tenanting a property? For example, I am living in a house reclad because of leaks with no current CCC. Work around the property has been going on and off now for 84 weeks. Builders, roofers, drainlayers, etc are on site (mainly doing renovations, decks, pathways, driveway extension and the like) and the final council inspection is still to happen.

Our expert Bernard Parker responded:

A landlord is required by the Residential Tenancies Act to “provide the premises in a reasonable state of cleanliness” and “provide and maintain the premises in a reasonable state of repair...”; and must “comply with all requirements in respect of buildings, health and safety under any enactment so far as they apply to the premises”. In other words, the landlord must provide a clean and well-maintained house.

Whether the house complies with these requirements is a question of fact. This does not imply that a landlord has any duty to disclose to a prospective tenant how long he has been working on a property, or whether in the past it used to be “leaky”. When you view a property for rent you have an opportunity to ask any questions you like. You are entitled to a truthful answer to those questions, but it is up to you to ask them.

If you, as a tenant, have had your enjoyment of the property interrupted by a landlord’s renovations for an unreasonable period of time, you may have cause to complain about his interference with your “reasonable peace, comfort or privacy”. Again, it depends on the particular facts of the situation. I suggest you talk to your landlord if you are dissatisfied. Ask questions about things that affect you. It’s a very good start.

Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.

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