Who pays for the costs of a plumber?

Sharon asks:
(updated on Thursday, February 25th 2010)

When a problem arises with leaking in the laundry (2 separate incidents with different tenants) we have sent in a plumber to check it out and the solution is found to be either:
the washing machine hosing (washing machine & hosing owned by the tenant) to be faulty and need replacing
or the tenant is using the washing machine on high water setting, but putting too many items in the washing machine it causes water to overflow.

Who should pay for the bill for the plumber? Tenant or Landlord for each incident please.

Our Experts Answer:

Responsibility for the cost of the plumber would depend on the circumstances in each case. Tenants are liable for damage they or their invited guests cause carelessly or intentionally. Landlords are responsible for maintaining the premises.

If the damage occurred because of a maintenance problem, then the landlord may be liable for the cost. However, if the damage was caused because the tenant’s personal appliance was faulty, or because the tenant did not use the appliance correctly, then the tenant may be liable for the cost.

In situations where a landlord provides the tenant with a washing machine as part of the tenancy, the landlord should also provide the tenant with clear written instructions on how to use the appliance. I suggest you discuss the matter with both of your tenants to see if an agreement can be reached over who is responsible for the cost of the plumber.

If you and your tenants can’t agree on who will pay the cost of the plumber, you could apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to resolve the matter. 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.



Heartland Bank - Online 1.99
The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special 2.09
HSBC Special 2.25
ICBC 2.25
HSBC Premier 2.25
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special 2.25
AIA 2.29
TSB Special 2.29
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 2.29
SBS Bank Special 2.29
Westpac Special 2.29
Heartland Bank - Online 2.35
ICBC 2.35
HSBC Premier 2.35
TSB Special 2.49
SBS Bank Special 2.49
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 2.59
BNZ - Classic 2.59
ASB Bank 2.59
AIA 2.59
China Construction Bank Special 2.65
Kiwibank Special 2.65
HSBC Premier 2.89
TSB Special 2.99
AIA 2.99
Westpac Special 2.99
ICBC 2.99
ASB Bank 2.99
China Construction Bank Special 2.99
BNZ - Classic 2.99
SBS Bank Special 3.19
Kiwibank Special 3.19
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 3.19
Heartland Bank - Online 2.50
Resimac 3.39
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40
Kiwibank Special 3.40
Kiwibank 3.40
Bluestone 3.49
Select Home Loans 3.49
ICBC 3.69
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40
Kainga Ora 4.43