Unhappy with sale process
Question from Christa updated on 1st January 1970:
DBH SEP 14 MAG.
Hi, sorry this is a bit long winded. We are five months into a one-year fixed term tenancy and we are very unhappy with the situation. The property was put on the market and we were never given written warning. Neither were we informed by the owner or the property manager, rather it was the real estate agent. We have been very obliging, never objecting to photos or two hour long open homes. The owners have rejected all offers so offers and want to do three further open homes after the tender has closed, which we don't want to do. There is also a massive black mould problem, which we have complained about but noone has acted on. They want to put the rent up as well. We think this has all been handled horrifically and very unprofessionally by all parties and want out, would our case stand?
Our expert responded:
You have a fixed term tenancy lasting another seven months with this landlord and cannot give notice to terminate that fixed term tenancy earlier. However, if your landlord agrees you could end the tenancy earlier.
Your landlord needs your prior consent to enter the property to show the property to prospective purchasers. You cannot unreasonably refuse consent but may attach reasonable conditions. The best approach is to talk this through with your landlord to agree an approach the works for both of you regarding the additional open homes they want.
The tenant is responsible for maintaining the premise in a clean and tidy condition. Any concerns the landlord has with you about the mould problem should be raised with you as part of the landlord’s regular formal inspections.
A key issue for resolution will be the cause of the mould. For example, tenants would be responsible if the mould is due to excess moisture in the property by doing things such as drying clothes inside and not ventilating the property. Landlords may be responsible where the problem has arisen due to a maintenance issue which could include leaking pipes or blocked guttering etc. In these situations, landlords and tenants should try and negotiate an outcome they are both happy with (e.g. whether a home ventilation system will remedy the problem or who will be responsible for cleaning costs).
If you have raised concerns about the mould as part of the landlord’s regular formal inspections and nothing has been done you can issue a 14 day notice to the landlord to remedy the problem. If it is not remedied in 14 days you could then apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved. To discuss your situation further, or for information about applying to the Tenancy Tribunal, you can visit the Ministry’s tenancy website www.dbh.govt.nz/tenancy or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262)