Will You Be Out Of The Country For More Than 21 Days?

As we plan extended holidays, there is one section of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (RTA) that we need to be aware of - Section 16A of the RTA states that if a landlord is out of New Zealand for a period of longer than 21 consecutive days, then they must ensure that they appoint an agent to act on their behalf who is in New Zealand.

A landlord who appoints an agent under this section must:

• Immediately after appointing the agent, notify the tenant of the agent’s name, contact address, email, and address for service;
• and the more complicated of the requirements, if a bond is held in respect of the tenancy, notify the bond centre of the appointed agent, and then change it back to themselves when they return from overseas.
• An agent appointed under this section has, as against the tenant, all the rights and obligations of the landlord.

A landlord who fails to appoint an agent and comply with this section of the RTA; commits an unlawful act with penalties up to $1500 payable to the tenant (well worth them dobbing in their landlord); and commits an infringement offence or is liable to a fine or infringement fee from $500 - $3000.

And you just wanted to have fun on a tropical island holiday!

For landlords already using the management services of Harcourts property managers, you are covered as we are your appointed agent and there is nothing more you need to do. However, if you have friends who are DIY landlords and they are planning an overseas trip, you may want to remind them of their obligations under the RTA so they can avoid any costly penalties.

Harcourts Just Rentals offers free, no obligation, professional rental appraisals. If you are looking to rent your property and would like more information on the service we provide and the costs involved, contact us today.