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  1. #1

    Default Kitchenette regulations

    I own an apartment with 1 large unit with a kitchen and 2 studio units with kitchenettes, that are tenanted on separate tenancies.

    The kitchenettes were put in after the building was built, and don't have a sink or water supply - presumably to get around Council regulations.

    My Property Manager is telling me that the Housing Improvements Regulations specify that each tenancy must have a kitchenette and that each kitchenette must have a sink and water supply.

    My reading of the Regulations is that only the "house" must have a sink and water supply which this house does, although only one tenant has access - the two studios don't.

    The PM is therefore saying that if a tenant of the studio rooms took me to Tribunal, they could be awarded a full refund of their rent.

    Does anyone here know about this?

    Thanks,
    Last edited by mordor; 07-05-2019 at 03:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    2,774

    Default

    I've seen hotel style rooms for rent with no kitchenette or sink. A microwave, bar fridge, bathroom. Maybe they don't fall under the RTA, don't know. Ask your PM.

    There is always airbnb. May be more profitable anyway.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Hastings
    Posts
    14,833

    Default

    Perhaps have a careful read on this section of the RTA?
    Act excluded in certain cases

    Don't rely on advice from REAs, PMs or PT Forumites, in such a situation.
    Last edited by Perry; 08-05-2019 at 10:04 AM. Reason: fixed typo
    Want a great looking concrete swimming pool in Hawke's Bay? Designer Pools will do the job for you!

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Perry View Post
    Perhaps have a careful read on this section of the RTA?


    Don't rely on advice from REAs. PMs of PT Forumites, in such a situation.
    Thanks for this. Unfortunately none of the exclusions apply for my situation.

    Can you recommend anyone whose advice I can rely on for this issue?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Brisbane Wellington Auckland
    Posts
    793

    Default

    Are the studio units rented on a stay by night basis ?
    So the tenants can stay a night or a week at a time ?

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beano View Post
    Are the studio units rented on a stay by night basis ?
    So the tenants can stay a night or a week at a time ?
    No, they are rented on a fixed term basis so 6 or 12 months.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Hastings
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    14,833

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mordor View Post
    Can you recommend anyone whose advice I can rely on for this issue?
    None that I have made use of.

    Have a look here.
    Want a great looking concrete swimming pool in Hawke's Bay? Designer Pools will do the job for you!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    2,774

    Default

    This article is partly relevant to the OP.

    A group of tenants took their landlord to the Tenancy Tribunal after he rented out sleepouts on the property and left the inhabitants to use the main house's kitchen.But now the tribunal has handed them a bill.

    The TT decision is not posted yet as far as I can see.

    The tenants look like chancers who have heard of tenants getting serious payouts from landlords and are trying their luck. A potential problem for landlords, just to add to the other restrictions now and probably coming.

    (The landlord could avoid this in future by renting the property to include the sleepouts.)


    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/1125...tial-tenancies

  9. #9

    Default

    LL need to be very careful with self contained spaces.

    unless the separate tenancy is approved or physically separate then they need fire separations etc The TT might say the arrangement is unapproved therefore unlawful This is arguable but it is likely unconsented (but not unlawful) The TT decisions are often not argued correctly and the ill-informed adjudicators make up the law for themselves. This is the risk for a LL.

    self contained spaces within same dwelling can be considered granny flats for same family or household. If renting you need to think flatmates or boarders and have agreements that reflect this. Flatmates are outside RTA. Boarders have LL obligations. You need to think about access for cooking as this is a basic requirement.

    Saying only the house needs a kitchen is correct but the assumption is that all the household get access to it.

    Do you live in the apartment? your PM is right there is risk here at present.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    84

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John the builder View Post
    LL need to be very careful with self contained spaces.

    unless the separate tenancy is approved or physically separate then they need fire separations etc The TT might say the arrangement is unapproved therefore unlawful This is arguable but it is likely unconsented (but not unlawful) The TT decisions are often not argued correctly and the ill-informed adjudicators make up the law for themselves. This is the risk for a LL.

    self contained spaces within same dwelling can be considered granny flats for same family or household. If renting you need to think flatmates or boarders and have agreements that reflect this. Flatmates are outside RTA. Boarders have LL obligations. You need to think about access for cooking as this is a basic requirement.

    Saying only the house needs a kitchen is correct but the assumption is that all the household get access to it.

    Do you live in the apartment? your PM is right there is risk here at present.
    I agree with John the Builder on this matter, many Landlords were penalised around 2017 when Tenancy Tribunal decided to take up the jurisdiction of illegal dwellings, this has settled down somewhat because it got out of control and I understand some appeals were won back against tenants.

    The Law has always been grey however the industry is awaiting the release of the RTA Amendments Bill no2, which I understand will clarify what is a legal rental dwelling, in the meantime landlords should be very carefully about renting any dwelling that is not consented as a separate residential dwelling.

    Renting a dwelling that is only separated by an unconsented dividing wall and not providing a consented kitchen for each tenancy would be risky in my opinion.

    If you lived onsite then a flat sharing agreement between the LL and each group would be considered a more legal option, if you do not live on site then having all the groups on one tenancy agreement or making the principal tenancy responsible for the sub groups would be the legal position.

    Good luck with that.

    Cheers Brendon


 

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