When you rent out a residential property, there are various obligations and responsibilities that you have to your tenant. As your Property Manager, Bridgman Property Management takes on all your legal responsibilities and landlords’ obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act.
Here’s a summary of landlords’ obligations:
- A tenancy agreement must be signed, with a copy given to the tenant.
- The bond must be sent to the Department of Building and Housing within 23 workings days, and tenants must be given a receipt for their payments.
- The property must be clean and tidy before the tenant moves in.
- All locks must work, and the property must be reasonably secure.
- Maintain the property and carry out any necessary repairs.
- The plumbing, electrical wiring and structure of the building must be safe and functional.
- Reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that the tenants don’t disturb neighbours.
- Give the tenant notice (as set down by the Residential Tenancies Act) regarding property inspections; rent increases; notice to vacate the property; and notification if the property is to be sold.
- A landlord may enter the property in an emergency without informing the tenant. The landlord may also enter the property at other times if the tenant freely allows it.
Landlords must not:
- Ask for more than 4 weeks’ rent as a bond.
- Ask for more than 2 weeks’ rent in advance, or ask for rent to be paid before it’s due.
- Inspect the property more than once every 4 weeks, except on work they’ve asked the tenant to do to remedy a breach of the Tenancy Agreement.
- Interfere with the tenant’s peace, comfort and privacy.
- Interfere with the supply of water, gas, electricity or telephone unless to avoid danger or to enable maintenance or repairs.
- Unreasonably refuse to allow a tenant to put up fixtures such as shelves.
- Change the locks unless the tenant agrees.
- Unreasonably stop a tenant who wants to sublet or assign the tenancy to someone else, unless it’s stated in the Tenancy Agreement that the tenant cannot assign or sub-let the tenancy.
- Evict a tenant (this needs a possession order enforced by the District Court).
- Take the tenant’s belongings as a security for money owed at any time during or after the tenancy, or refuse to hand back belongings left behind at the end of the tenancy (provided the tenant pays any actual and reasonable storage costs).