Warning vs privacy

Question from Nigel updated on 19th September 2016:

A tenant left my property owing $4000 in unpaid rent and damages. That tenant has now found a new property and I have found out the address. How can I find out the name of the new landlord, so that I can warn them about this tenant?

Our expert Allan Galloway responded:

In the first instance, it is recommended that you seek independent legal advice or contact the Privacy Commissioner’s office on 0800 803 909 regarding the disclosure of your previous tenant’s information, and to ensure you are complying with your obligations under the Privacy Act 1993.

To locate a landlord’s name, possible options include:

• carrying out an ownership check on the address by obtaining a property report or title search from Land Information New Zealand or other service providers

• requesting a copy of the building file from the local council, which may assist

• searching the address online may locate details of any rental advertisement for the property, with the landlord’s details provided

• searching the address on the Tenancy Tribunal website (www.tenancytribunal.govt.nz) may provide an order with the landlord’s name included

• contacting property management companies in the area to see if they are the landlord

For further information regarding landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities (including options to recover unpaid rent and damages), you can visit our website at www.tenancy.govt.nz, or subscribe to our tenancy landlord e-newsletter.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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