Unauthorised bidet addition

Sam asks:
(updated on Friday, June 19th 2020)

My tenants have added a hand spray bidet to the toilet without my authorisation. It is my understanding that under section 42 of the RTA this is not allowed with out my authorisation. My property manager has advised that the bidet would not fall under this category as it is considered an addition rather than a fixture. Is my property manager correct? And if the tenant has caused damage because of this addition who is liable to pay for that damage?


Our Experts Answer:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, tenants cannot add fixtures, renovate, alter, or add anything to the premises (including any facilities) unless this is in the Tenancy Agreement or the landlord agrees in writing.

If the tenant does this without the permission of the landlord (in this case, the property manager) this is a breach of their responsibilities and this breach will need to be remedied. If there is any resulting damage this may be viewed as careless or intentional damage.

A landlord can issue a 14 day notice to remedy to the tenant where there is a breach of the Tenancy Agreement, including unconsented fixtures or alterations. This gives the tenant a set amount of time to fix the breach and sets out the consequences if this is not done.

If, on removing any fixture, the tenant causes any damage to the premises, the tenant must inform the landlord immediately and, at the landlord’s option, either repair the damage or compensate the landlord for any reasonable expenses incurred by the landlord in repairing the damage up to the tenants liability limit for careless damage, or for the full amount for any intentional damage.

For more information on repairs and damages, go to tenancy.govt.nz/repairs-and-damages/. You can also subscribe to our e-newsletter Tenancy Matters here.  

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