With the RTA 2.0 amendments coming into play February 2021, soon tenants will be able to make minor changes to rental properties - but what is a minor change? What are the requirements of this new law?
What is classified as a minor change?
The government has clarified that a change is minor if:
It will present a low risk of damage to the property.
It will be of a nature that allows the property to be easily returned to a reasonably similar condition at the end of the tenancy.
It will not pose a health and safety risk that is not able to be sufficiently mitigated, including during installation and removal.
It will have no impacts on third parties.
It will require no consent under law (e.g. a building consent), or breach bylaws, body corporate rules, covenants, or other obligations or restrictions relevant to the premises.
Can a Landlord Say No? Can Conditions Be Requested?
Where a tenant requests a change that is minor, the landlord cannot withhold consent, and must respond in writing within 21 days.
Keep in mind however, the landlord can impose reasonable conditions around how that minor change is carried out, such as requiring the tenant to change the location of the change, or requiring a certain installation method or material to be used that will minimise the risk of damage.
What Happens When the Tenancy Ends, Does the Change Stay?
When the tenancy ends, the tenant must return the property to a condition that is similar to the state it was in before the change was made. If a tenant wants to make a change to their rental property, then they will have to pay for it, and they will also be liable for the cost of any remedial work required as a result of any minor changes they have added to a rental property.
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