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July Property Investor News

Is asbestos contamination the next ‘can of worms’ for property investors to deal with?

The hits seem to just keep on coming for property investors. The latest ‘industry scare’ is asbestos. It’s believed that up to 75% of the NZ rental housing stock will have building products containing asbestos. Proposed changes to the Health and Safety Act mean that from April 2018 every property under management may need to contain an asbestos register if there is a possibility that the property may contain asbestos. We are keeping a close eye on this issue and will update all of our property owners as necessary.

When is discrimination lawful?

In a recently publicised case a rental agent refused to arrange a house viewing for a heavily pregnant woman and her partner because the landlord did not want children living there. The matter was referred to the Human Rights Commission where a spokesperson said the Human Rights Act deemed it unlawful to discriminate based on “family status” which included caring for children. Andrew King, the executive officer of the New Zealand Property Investors Federation, said it was not an issue he had heard of in the past. In the past landlords had often preferred families because they were more stable tenants but since the Osaki case, where the Court of Appeal ruled last year that a tenant did not have to pay for damage after leaving a pot of oil on the stove and causing a fire, landlords were more wary of potential damage to their property and were looking closely at the suitability of tenants they were putting into their properties . http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news … d=11874883 – 13 June

Common sense starts to kick in over tenants damaging landlord’s properties:

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No. 2) which has been introduced to Parliament will provide better protections and clarity for landlords, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says. “This Bill makes three practical changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to help ensure our tenancy laws better manage methamphetamine contamination, liability for careless damage and the tenancy of unsuitable properties. It builds on the changes we made last year requiring smoke alarms and insulation, and establishing a Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team. “This Bill recognises that meth contamination of properties has become a significant issue that needs clearer direction. We want homes to be safe but we also don’t want properties being vacated when the risks are low. Under the new Bill tenants will be liable for the excess (insurance) cost up to a maximum of four weeks rent for each incident of damage.


It is now an unlawful act for a landlord not to stipulate on a tenancy agreement the extent and types of insulation a rental property has. The Tenancy Tribunal has made it quite clear in a recent ruling that failure to disclose insulation on a tenancy agreement is unlawful. In June 2019 it will be unlawful to rent a property which is not adequately insulated. We are working very hard to ensure that all of our owners are aware of these new laws. We will be unable to complete new tenancies where we have not been given the appropriate information about a rental properties insulation.

Next landlord disbursement date:

Tuesday 1 August 2017


Given the opinions expressed in parts of this newsletter it’s important that we make it clear that the contents of this email are opinions and observations and made in good faith. We suggest that in all cases independent legal and financial advice is sought.

Kind regards from the hard working team at Walker Weir.


July 18th, 2017