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How to Manage Common Landlord and Tenant Issues
Most tenancies go well, but sometimes there are problems. We take a look at the most common landlord/tenant issues, how to manage them and how to foster a positive landlord/tenant relationship.
What are Common Landlord/Tenant Issues?
Tenants failing to pay rent on time, damaging property, failing to report leaks or other maintenance issues and disrupting neighbours are just some issues landlords may face.
There may be a lack of understanding on both sides as to what to do when issues arise. Whatever the situation, it’s important that landlords understand their legal obligations and stick to the letter of the law.
The Importance of Communication
Open communication is the number one key to successful tenancies. Landlords who communicate well with tenants, carry out maintenance promptly and allow tenants to have quiet enjoyment of their properties are less likely to encounter issues.
If issues do arise, it's important to address your tenants' questions and problems quickly. This helps foster a positive relationship with tenants and encourages them to keep your property in good condition.
It's important to always maintain a professional distance with tenants. Be friendly, but don't become friends. Remember this is a business relationship, and you may need to make hard decisions at times, especially if issues can't be easily resolved.
How Can Landlords Resolve Disputes?
If a tenant breaches their tenancy agreement landlords need to go through a legal process to resolve the dispute, or as a last resort to pursue eviction. There are several options for resolving disputes - self-resolution, FastTrack resolution, mediation and Tenancy Tribunal Hearings.
Read about Tenancy Disputes and the Tenancy Tribunal Process.
How Can Tenants Report Landlords?
Unfortunately, it is sometimes the landlord who is at fault in a tenancy dispute. Tenants can find information on breaches of The Residential Tenancies Act and how to address problems they are having with their landlord on the Tenancy Services website. Mediation is a good first option, or the issue can be taken to the Tenancy Tribunal if this fails.
Avoiding Maintenance Issues
Landlords need to check their properties regularly and repair wear and tear and damage promptly.
The sooner a problem such as a leaking pipe is reported the better as this can prevent subsequent damage. Regular property inspections are necessary and can be beneficial for both landlords and tenants. Ask tenants to report any issues during inspections.
Find out more about the benefits of home inspections.
Having a property maintenance checklist is a good way of keeping on top of maintenance.
Understanding the Law
The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) outlines the respective responsibilities of landlords and tenants in New Zealand.
The Act governs landlord/tenant relationships and provides the foundation for successful rental agreements. It also enables both parties to voice legitimate concerns and provides clear boundaries as to what is expected of each party.
It is important landlords understand their responsibilities under the law. Read more about the Residential Tenancies Act and the new rules for terminating tenancies.
Get Expert Advice
Keeping up to date with the law and how it affects you as a landlord can be difficult. If you’d like some further advice on resolving disputes or have a general enquiry, contact our Property Management team on firstname.lastname@example.org or chat on 09 623 5952.