Responsibilities for damage to property

Erica asks:
(updated on Friday, November 11th 2011)

My real estate agent refused to repair the broken washing machine and the broken vacuum cleaner. He said that is my sole responsibility to repair that. I'm an international student and am not familiar with New Zealand Law, is it true about what he said? What should I do if I want to get some help?

Our Experts Answer:

We need to ask a couple of questions here. Firstly, were the appliances in the property when you looked at it before signing the tenancy agreement? Were they understood to be part of the tenancy? Were they included in the chattels list of your tenancy agreement or, more importantly, were they specifically mentioned as excluded, or “as is, where is”, or “available, but not to be repaired if they break down”?

If they were provided by the landlord and were not specifically excluded, they can probably be expected to be maintained at the landlord’s cost. If you want advice you should call the Tenancy Services help line, 0800 TENANCY. The advisors will be able to give you more specific advice based on further information that you give them during your call.

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