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An open letter to APIA members

Kristin Sutherland gave her maiden speech as APIA President to our members on 9th of February 2020. Below is an excerpt of her speech reformatted as an open letter to all members. Dear members, I would like to introduce myself to those of you who don’t know me – I am Kristin Sutherland the newly elected President of APIA. I am thrilled to be able to represent APIA and you, its member...
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{{name}} - APIA Auckland Property Investors

Maximum occupancy - don’t sit on your rights

Knowledge or acquiescence of a tenant exceeding maximum occupancy could invalidate a subsequent claim for exemplary damage. RE: Driskel v Zoetebier [2021] NZTT Hutt Valley 4271298, 4277832 This is a claim and counterclaim hearing that covers a number of issues in connection to the tenancy. For the purpose of this discussion, we will be addressing the breach of maximum occupancy limit ex...
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{{name}} - APIA Auckland Property Investors

Landlords would do well not to underestimate the RTA

Mainstream commentary on the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020 (RTAA 2020) is grossly preoccupied with the removal of the 90-day no-fault termination notice. At times, it even exaggerates the (detrimental) consequences landlords will be made to suffer post 11 February seeing as the proverbial rug is about to be pulled out from under us. We disagree and offer this reframe - That...
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{{name}} - APIA Auckland Property Investors

Bond - it is the tenant’s money

We generally understand and talk about bonds as security deposits; on the one hand, they give a landlord the peace of mind to rent to a stranger and on the other hand cushion a tenant against onerous financial burden should a claim be made against him at the end of the tenancy. What we tend to be less mindful of is that ultimately, the bond is the tenant’s money and the law recog...
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{{name}} - APIA Auckland Property Investors

Personal properties vs chattels

In an $11,476.87 order made against the tenant, Kieran Jie-Wei Cheng, that in part, penalised him for damaging the premises, the Tribunal clearly articulates the limits of its jurisdiction. In short, personal properties belonging to the landlord do not enjoy the same s49B protection against tenant damages as rental chattels otherwise would. RE: Newman v Lalor and other parties [2021] NZTT C...
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{{name}} - APIA Auckland Property Investors

Ending a fixed-term tenancy to sell

This week's question comes from Rob (paraphrased): I want to sell a property that is currently subject to a fixed-term tenancy (term expiring 22nd February 2021). I need some downtime between the tenancy and the listing to tidy up the property. In light of the RTAA, what notice should I give to terminate the tenancy? Also, for the first time, the tenant had missed a rent payment, if I give...
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{{name}} - APIA Auckland Property Investors

Landlord held not liable for co-tenants' pets

Re: Whether a landlord is liable for breaching the quiet enjoyment of one tenant for failing to enforce the terms of the tenancy agreement against a co-tenant Zama v Feng [2020] NZTT Wellington 4276448 This is a strange one. Bear with us. Alessandro Zama took his landlord to the Tribunal alleging a number of breaches. On the face of it, many if not most certainly look vexatious to us (in...
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{{name}} - APIA Auckland Property Investors

How much to increase rent by in response to RTAA 2020

This week's question comes from Joss: What rent premiums are landlords typically applying to addressed increased risks associated with the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020? Without a doubt, certain provisions of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020 (RTAA 2020) shift the balance of risk and reward against landlords. Anecdotally many of our members have indicated that th...
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{{name}} - APIA Auckland Property Investors

What's my HHS compliance date?

This week's question comes from Cliff: My property is not yet fully HHS compliant, how should I fill in the compliance date on the HHS Compliance Statement? Actually, we expect this to be a common situation many landlords find themselves in. There are several deadlines for the Healthy Homes Standards (HHS) between now and July 2024. While the HHS Compliance Statement is now compu...
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{{name}} - APIA Auckland Property Investors

Hard for you but su*ks for me

An example of how the Tenancy Tribunal weighs up a landlord’s and a tenant’s respective hardship in determining the merits of an application for early termination (of a fixed-term tenancy) RE: Ayaz v Rentex Ltd [2020] NZTT North Shore 4278514 Facts The tenant and his family moved to New Zealand in May 2020 and took out a one-year fixed-term tenancy from 20th June 2020 to 18th ...
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