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  • Help on Conditions in a Tenancy Agreement

    Hi Guys,

    We are getting new tenants in one of the properties we have. I have always wondered about what conditions to include in the Tenancy Agreement...?

    The standard ones that I have are as follows:

    1. No Pets Allowed in the House (Do I need to be more specific here?)
    2. No Smoking Allowed inside the house
    3. Number of tenants in the house should AT ALL TIMES be XXX . If this scenario is to change it is compulsory to advise the landlord and get their permission
    4. Maintaining the lawns and garden is the tenant responsibility (Do I need to be more specific here?)
    5. Any missed rent will incur a penalty of $100 (this one, I understand is not legally valid, but I don't see any harm in it even if it is "invalid" - am I wrong?)

    Please could you advise on the above and if I am missing on anything important?

    Also, should the conditions in a Fixed Term Tenancy be different from the ones in the regular tenancy??

    Cheers,

  • #2
    1. No Pets Allowed in the House (Do I need to be more specific here?)
    Think it's specific enough. Some tenants think it's okay to have a "little" puppy or kitten come to stay. "because we're just looking after it for my Mum". NO means NO!!!

    P.S. Didn't read this properly the first time around. Just NO PETS. repeat NO PETS. "Outside pets" have a habit of sneaking inside when it's cold.

    2. No Smoking Allowed inside the house
    I've never put this on my TA's so can't comment.

    3. Number of tenants in the house should AT ALL TIMES be XXX . If this scenario is to change it is compulsory to advise the landlord and get their permission
    State the MAXIMUM NUMBER of tenants and NAME EACH tenant from the start of the tenancy (children & babies included), that way there's no confusion about who can stay.

    4. Maintaining the lawns and garden is the tenant responsibility (Do I need to be more specific here?)
    Yes the lawns are the tenants responsibility. Can you specific how often they mow the lawns? Unsure, however you can't get them to maintain the gardens, you can only suggest they do. From what I have gathered, the gardens must be left in the same condition as when the tenants entered the property. Take photos of same.

    5. Any missed rent will incur a penalty of $100 (this one, I understand is not legally valid, but I don't see any harm in it even if it is "invalid" - am I wrong?)
    Totally illegal and IF you ever ended up at TT, this would put you in a very bad light. IMHO, leave it out.

    Please could you advise on the above and if I am missing on anything important?
    Take dated photos of EVERYTHING, scratches, dents, marks and all. I advise the tenant that I have done this and if I'm organised enough before interviews, I print them out, wave them in front of prospective tenants and advise that they will be expected to sign each page of photos on entry of tenancy. They get to keep a copy and so do I.

    THIS has really saved my patootie in the past when I've attended TT.

    Another one that I've used -

    All vehicles on the property must be registered and warranted. No vehicles, parts, tyres etc are to be kept on the property.

    Good luck
    Last edited by Perry; 13-02-2013, 01:26 PM. Reason: fixed quoted text
    Patience is a virtue.

    Comment


    • #3
      clause 1 are you allowing pets at all.... they could get pets that are outside animals and you could stop them If you don;t want pets at all state NO Pets

      clause 2 so they can smoke outside the house, chuck their butts everywhere and smoke by open windows so the smoke drifts back in

      clause 3 Tenants are the people whose name are listed on the tenancy agreement. So with your wording they can have 3 tenants but as many flatmates
      as they like . You need to state total number of occupants

      clause 4 remember the landlord is responsible for maintaining shrubs and trees.... this is good practice unless you want to come along one day and find everything leveled .... and yes this has happened

      clause 5 tenants are not stupid they know that clause is illegal and unenforceable so what is the point in putting it in... Also check out the Residential Tenancies Act... The tenancy Tribunal is taking a harsher view of Landlord who break the RTA and can award exemplary damages to the tenant when Landlords breach the Act

      Remember you are running a business when you have a rental property so read the RTA and learn the basics.

      If not find yourself a good property manager.... not just the cheapest , find someone with several year experience at least.

      Comment


      • #4
        Jaysus

        My TA runs to 11 pages.

        Email me and I'll send you a copy.
        www.3888444.co.nz
        Facebook Page

        Comment


        • #5
          You asked for it

          Tenancy terms:

          The maximum number of residents occupying the property is . . .

          No caravans to be kept on the property. All vehicles on the property must be registered and warranted. No unroadworthy vehicles, parts, tyres etc are to be kept on the property.

          The tenant shall pay any maintenance callout fee or repair costs where the fault has been caused by the tenant, or the tradesperson who attends the callout finds no fault.

          Rent Reviews - The landlord may review the rent from time to time and may increase the rent in accordance with section 24 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. No increase will take effect within 180 days after the date of the commencement of the tenancy or within 180 days after the date on which the last increase took effect.

          Subletting - The tenant agrees not to assign, sublet or part with possession of the premises belonging to the landlord.

          Property inspection report - The tenant will complete a property inspection report in conjunction with the landlord and this report will expressly detail the standard of cleanliness and maintenance requirements at the time of occupation. If subsequently the property inspection report shows that the tenant has not maintained the general upkeep of the property they will be issued with a 14 day notice to remedy the issue.

          Carpet care - The tenant agrees not to place pot plants, fridges, freezers or anything that may cause damage to carpeted areas within the tenancy premises. If the carpet is not maintained to a reasonably clean and tidy standard at the end of the tenancy the tenants may be liable to have them professionally cleaned.

          Ventilation - The tenant agrees to keep the premises well ventilated at all practical times when the tenant is personally in residence, to prevent the build up of mould and mildew.

          Collection costs - If at the end of the tenancy there is an unsatisfied debt by way of Money Order ,then the tenant agrees that the tenant be liable for and pay for all costs of recovery of the Money Order, which costs shall be collected by (Landlord) or nominee.
          Costs payable by the debtor shall include, legal fees, commissions, fees and disbursements, and /or court filing fees and disbursements.

          Smoke detectors and means of fire escape - The tenant agrees not to touch, or attempt to disable or disconnect or to interfere with any means of escape from fire, including smoke detectors, in any way and not to permit any occupant, guest or visitor, to do the same. Touching, disconnecting, disabling or interfering in any way with any means of escape from fire is an unlawful act. Smoke detectors can cause a silent alarm to be sent to the alarm company which sends out an employee to check the detector and then sends an account for the callout. Tenants are to replace batteries in the smoke alarm if they run flat.

          Tenants obligation to leave - On termination of the tenancy the tenant shall actually quit the tenancy on the last day.

          The tenant further agrees that at the termination of the tenancy, to return all pass cards, remote controlled door openers or keys belonging to the landlord and remove all rubbish and personal belongings. Failure to do so may result in professional cleaning, replacement of keys or other costs to be paid by the tenant.

          I hereby give (Landlord) (or nominee) permission to access all address and contact information from Work And Income New Zealand and /or the Department of Building And Housing including past, and current contact information for the purpose of service of documents related to debt collection.
          Last edited by flyernzl; 12-02-2013, 11:37 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            And the final kicker:

            By entering into this agreement you agree that your personal details, your photos, any defaults, any 14 day notices, and an assessment regarding your fulfillment of tenant responsibilities may be added to any tenant checking or credit reporting systems accessible by members (comprising of other landlords) on a subscription basis. This assessment can only be used for the purpose of evaluating you for future tenancies. A tenants address details may be added to the site to assist other landlords in locating former tenants. Under the Privacy Act 1993 you have the right to see the information held about you by any credit reporting or tenant database, and to correct it in accordance with the Privacy Act. If you wish to view any information we hold about you, send your request to T.I.N.Z., P.O. Box 105524, Auckland City 1143

            Comment


            • #7
              The pets one is an oddity. What defines a pet? I say no cats and dogs
              but other pets may be allowed at the LLs discretion which shall be final.

              One guy had a pet turtle in a vivarium - I was OK with that. Another had
              one of those garden sheds with one wall in netting, with budgies in it. My
              only condition was the birds did not go in the house. Also had one with
              goldfish which were kept inside. A signed indemnity was required in case
              of water damage if the aquarium leaked, broke or the like.

              It's hard to pin everything down and still remain a reasonable LL.

              I once lent a guy a microwave. Months later, he returned it, telling me it
              didn't go any more and he didn't really need it, anyway. I just smiled, at
              the same time thinking uncharitable thoughts about perverse tenants.

              It was as if he was saying: you know that microwave of yours that you
              lent me and which worked fine? It's now broken, so I'm returning it.

              Still broken, of course! <sigh>

              Sense of humour? LLs? How else would we remain sane?
              Want a great looking concrete swimming pool in Hawke's Bay? Designer Pools will do the job for you!

              Comment


              • #8
                Following up on what's legal/necessary in tenancy agreements, I have a vague memory of reading somewhere that having a requirement in a tenancy agreement to have carpets professionally cleaned at the end of tenancy is not legally enforceable. Or is anything enforceable as long as both parties sign? We had tenants who verbally agreed that they'd give us two months notice, but I definitely found something somewhere that said notice is limited to one month max, so we didn't both putting it in the agreement & they did give us two months anyway. Is there any online source of the legal limitations in tenancy agreements?

                Comment


                • #9
                  How many tenants would even bother to read all that stuff?

                  Keep it simple:
                  1. Look after the house.
                  2. Pay your rent.
                  3. Don't annoy the neighbours (except for Tiger Lilly & her six kids across the road cause we'd like them to leave).
                  The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates and a monthly salary - Fred Wilson.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PC View Post
                    How many tenants would even bother to read all that stuff?

                    Keep it simple:
                    1. Look after the house.
                    2. Pay your rent.
                    3. Don't annoy the neighbours (except for Tiger Lilly & her six kids across the road cause we'd like them to leave).
                    Don't care about what the tenants read. It's the Adjudicators who read it and shaft the landlord.

                    Adjudicator: So, Mr LL, you want the dog gone?

                    LL: Yes, they said they had no pets.

                    And your pre tenancy application form? Does it ask about pets?

                    Ah, no.

                    And your tenancy agreement?

                    Ah, no.

                    OK then, the dog is allowed.

                    Now then, about your complaint that the tenants are using the yard for wrecking cars and selling the parts.

                    Ummmmm

                    Did your tenancy agreement stop them from doing that?

                    No

                    Are the tenants keeping the property tidy?

                    Ummmmmm, yes.

                    OK then, that may continue.

                    Now, about the smoking issue. Did your pre tenancy application form ask the tenants if they smoked?

                    ................................. no

                    What about your tenancy agreement?

                    no

                    OK then, that's allowed.

                    We come now to the major issue. The swimming pool which the tenants have erected in the rear yard.


                    The tenants have asked you to fence it as it is in breach of the city bylaws.

                    Ah HAH (thinks the landlord)

                    Well, the tenants can remove the swimming pool. I'm not fencing it.

                    I hate to disappoint you sir. Under S 38 you must allow the tenants quiet enjoyment and the city bylaws require you to fence the pool

                    I'll make a works order that you have the pool fenced by the end of the month.


                    It's all right guys. Keep it simple.


                    There are a huge amount of items which I could list. Over the years I have learned to exclude anything I can think of and contract into each item with each tenant.
                    Last edited by Keys; 26-02-2013, 03:45 PM.
                    www.3888444.co.nz
                    Facebook Page

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The TA should be drawn up at a time when you don't really need it in preparation for a time when you might need it.

                      As Keys correctly says, it is not so much for use between the Landlord and the Tenant. It's real power comes into play between the Landlord and the Adjudicator.

                      Adopt a positive expectation of a negative outcome. Like insurance, hopefully you won't need it, but when you do you really do.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thank you all for your contribution here. Have got some great tips now.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Keys View Post
                          Jaysus

                          My TA runs to 11 pages.

                          Email me and I'll send you a copy.
                          Hi Keys

                          I'm wondering if your offer of a copy of your TA still stands? I'm new here so can't PM/email you but would appreciate it if you could contact me.

                          Thanks in advance!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My email is on my web site.
                            www.3888444.co.nz
                            Facebook Page

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Fantastic, I'll email now. Thanks

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