The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) has released a new guide for first-time renters to reduce the number of cases in the Tenancy Tribunal for issues that could be resolved earlier.
The new guide discusses common concerns such as the Healthy Homes standards, level of bond a landlord or property manager can ask for, insurance, notice to inspect, and the number of weeks that rent can be asked for in advance. It also covers concerns around maintenance and repairs and retaliatory notices.
“Renting can be a confusing and daunting process, and this guide is written in plain English to help try and outline some of the key questions people have before they sign an agreement, during their tenancy, and when they want to leave their rental property,” said REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell.
“One thing we hear time and time again is that tenants don't report issues with the property to their landlord or property manager in a timely manner. The guide points out that tenants have a legal responsibility to report any repairs or maintenance required to the property to the landlord or property manager in order to prevent further damage.”
The guide clarifies that the landlord or property manager should present the home in a reasonable condition and fix its issues on time. They also cannot give renters a notice to leave the property in relation to raising a maintenance issue.
“With so many changes to legislation relating to rental properties over the last few years, it's essential that tenants understand their rights and know what their landlord or property manager should or shouldn't be doing,” Norwell said.