With the introduction of new regulations to the rental industry by the government, there has been a push for tenants to take their landlords to the tenancy tribunal if they are not complying to those rules.
This largely has been driven by the ideology that tenants in NZ are being provided with cold and damp housing and that this needs to change.
What can eliminate this discord of an ‘us vs them’ mentality is cold hard evidence. There can be no disputing factual evidence.
At the end of last year, there was an interesting case that came to the Tenancy Tribunal where a tenant was seeking compensation for issues with the state of their rental property.
The tenant complained that the property they were living in was damp, there was evidence of mould, flaking paint, holes in exterior weatherboards, damp and soft interior wall linings and poor maintenance on the premises in general.
The tenant stated they had been raising concerns with the landlord for nearly a year.
In discussing the case, the adjudicator stated that “there is a large gap between the evidence presented by both parties.”
The adjudicator noted that the landlord had been diligent with reports “On the one-hand, the landlord has undertaken what I consider to be careful and detailed inspections at the premises. The inspection reports are very detailed.”
Evidence supplied by the tenant was limited to email exchanges between the landlord and themselves, when they communicated about any issues at the property. However it was noted that the landlord was always willing to assist the tenant and rectify any issues at the property.
However, what the landlord does not record is any significant mould at the premises, dampness or holes in the weatherboards.
Summing up the case, the adjudicator stated that “I have been unable to conclude that there is sufficient evidence to show that any material defect arises with the premise to cause a dampness or mould problem. Both parties have presented photographs, but none of these show what is clearly mould.”
Read the full Tenancy tribunal Case here:
The iCompli App provides the evidence you need!
After years of research and development, iCompli has launched the ‘iCompli App’ which is an inspection and compliance tool for rental properties in New Zealand.
The App asks for information surrounding legislative requirements for the property and property owner/landlord. A particular emphasis has been placed on the more recent changes introduced by the government including the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act and the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2019.
During an inspection through the App, there are more than 140 questions asked about the property. It also allows for photos to be taken for each question and broader pictures can be taken for each room.
At the conclusion of an inspection, a detailed report (including all of the photos) is emailed to the person who undertook the inspection.
This could then be used in any Tenancy Tribunal case where a dispute over the condition of the property is being disputed. It provides cold-hard factual evidence.
One of the benefits of the App is that anyone can use it. It is not only available to any specific group of people. It is open for landlords, property managers and even tenants to utilise. Therefore anyone can have evidence of the condition of the rental property accessible through a tool from their pockets.