Tenant refusing EQC repairs move

Question from Kerry updated on 7th June 2013:

My tenant is on a periodic tenancy in Christchurch. I have organised a date for EQC to begin repairs and the property is required to be vacant. EQC will organise temporary accommodation but the tenant is refusing to move out. What is my position here? There is a property manager looking after the property.

Our expert Juliet Robinson responded:

Your property manager should be in a position to find out why the tenant doesn’t want to move out while repairs are done. That question is possibly at the core of the issue. Is the tenant concerned about safety and security of their possessions? Is the temporary accommodation too far away from their children’s school? Is it of a size adequate to accommodate the tenant and family? There are a number of other factors to consider as well. How long are the repairs planned to take? Will the work be such that the tenant will be in the way of builders, etc.? Will it be unsafe for the tenant to have access to the property at the same time? A landlord has the right of entry, under section 48(2)(d) of the Residential Tenancies Act, in order to do necessary maintenance. However, that isn’t the point at issue here. It seems the tenant is happy for the repairs to be done, but just doesn’t want to move out to temporary accommodation during that time. Try to work out a negotiated solution that the tenant, the builders, EQC and you are all happy with. If you can't reach an agreement and the nature of the repair work makes it unsafe for a tenant to be in the property at the time, then it may be necessary for you to ask the Tenancy Tribunal to order the tenant to vacate (either temporarily or permanently).

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