Going on holiday for longer than 21 days?

by Claire Wilson on Wed Feb 2018
Going on holiday for longer than 21 days?

With holiday season just around the corner it is important to know what is required of landlords when they leave the country for more than three weeks.

With holiday season just around the corner it is important to know what is required of landlords when they leave the country for more than three weeks.

The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) Section 16 (A) outlines what landlords need to do when they go on holiday. Landlords must appoint an agent in New Zealand to carry out their duties as a landlord.
When they appoint an agent, that agent must be a full agent and carry all the responsibilities of a landlord. So if it is a family member or friend to be the agent, bear in mind, that the appointee will be bearing all responsibilities under the Act for liability as a landlord. This means that if the tenant has any issues they would normally bring up with you (the landlord), they will need to contact your agent about (e.g. if your tenant needs to ask for repairs to be done).

Once you have appointed an agent, you’ll need to:

  • advise your tenants about who the agent is and how they can contact the agent
  • fill out a change of landlord form for MBIE’s Tenancy Services
  • contact the Bond Centre and ask them to update their records with your agent’s name. This means that if your tenant leaves while you are overseas (and they have left the property in the same condition as when they moved in), they can still get their bond back

When you return to New Zealand you’ll need to tell your tenant and Tenancy Services that you are back and taking over from your agent.

It’s unlawful if a landlord doesn’t appoint an agent or doesn’t provide the tenant with their agent’s details. If a landlord doesn’t do this, the tenant can give the landlord a notice to remedy. This notice gives the landlord a deadline to appoint an agent or to provide them with the agent’s details in New Zealand.

If a landlord doesn’t comply with a notice to remedy, the tenant can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to sort the matter out and landlords can be liable for exemplary damages of up to $1000.
If you have a property manager, all you will need to do is let them know that you will be away. You won't need to do any of the above as your property manager is already appointed as your agent.

Other landlords choose to engage a professional property manager for this role; A1 Property Managers offer this service for as little as $10 +GST per week. We have extra services you can add on should your tenant vacate or an inspection needed to be carried out whilst you were away.

Even if you are away for less than 21 days, it is still a good idea to have someone back home as a point of contact for your tenants. This means you will be able to relax, know that your rental property is taken care of, and enjoy your time overseas.

Claire Wilson

Claire Wilson

An active investor with her husband Hamish, Claire loves to inspire & inform others, all whilst juggling three little boys and living her mantra to eat well and travel lots.