What are our rights as property owners?

Michelle Wallace asks:
(updated on Monday, July 13th 2009)

We signed our property over in good faith to a Property Manager. Things were going okay until 7 months later when we stopped receiving rent or any form of communication from her. We now know that her company has been removed from the company register and the property has been vacant for several months. We have spent approx $12k getting it 'tenantable' again. What can we do to get some of this back from either the 'manager' or the former tenant? Some of the damage was classed as malicious by the insurance company. Basically, we want to know what our rights are as the property owners. Thank you

Our Experts Answer:

The Residential Tenancies Act only applies to the relationship between a tenant and landlord. It does not cover the relationship between a property owner and property manager. I recommend you seek independent legal advice from your local community law centre.

Tenants are liable for damage caused carelessly or intentionally by them or their invited guests, and for ensuring the premises are left reasonably clean and tidy at the end of the tenancy. If the costs you are seeking relate to damage that occurred during the tenancy, and you wanted to pursue the matter against the tenant, you could also apply to the Tenancy Tribunal.

To discuss your situation further, or for advice and information about applying to the Tenancy Tribunal, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.



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