Landlords are within their right to add conditions to tenancy agreements, but many can be unsure what conditions can be included in tenancy agreements to deal with day-to-day circumstances. Here are our top tips on adding conditions to tenancy agreements and how to check tenants carry them out.
Clauses Landlords Can Add to Tenancy Agreements:
Prohibiting tenants from smoking in the house.
Limiting the number of people allowed to live in the house. Though this is within reason. For example, a one person occupant limit on a four bedroom property would be deemed unacceptable.
Requiring the names of all occupants living in property.
Indicating certain areas on the property where cars are not allowed to be parked.
Stating the tenant cannot have pets.
Allowing the landlord to conduct methamphetamine testing.
Requiring the tenant to mow and maintain the lawn.
Clauses to Avoid in Tenancy Agreements:
It's not recommended to put conditions in tenancy agreements that would be deemed unenforceable under law. The Residential Tenancies Act doesn’t allow any clauses to be written into tenancy agreements that conflict with the Act. This means clauses that ask tenants to do more than the Act requires them to do, or tries to remove their rights are unenforceable.
Example 1 | Unenforceable Clause:
Tenants must replace stove elements, fuses, taps and provided chattels as they wear out.
Why? Because landlords are legally responsible for ensuring the premises is maintained in a reasonable state of repair, this clause is unenforceable.
Example 2 | Unenforceable Clause:
A tenant must pay 4 weeks bond plus 2 weeks extra bond for the landlord allowing a dog.
Why? The law only allows a maximum of 4 weeks rent as a bond, making this clause in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act.
Example 3 | Unenforceable Clause:
Tenants must give 60 days’ notice to end a periodic agreement.
Why? The Act only requires the tenant to give notice of not less than 28 days to end this type of agreement.
How To Ensure Tenants Carry Out Your Conditions:
The best way to ensure your conditions are carried out is by making sure your tenants fully understand everything at the beginning of the tenancy, and know you plan to conduct regular property inspections every few months to check.
At Quinovic we take steps to ensure all new tenants understand the agreement and our processes. Before the tenancy begins, at the key handover we discuss with new tenants important sections of the agreement to ensure they understand what is expected from them, the best way to contact us, how our processes work, as well as provide advice on cleaning and insurance.
Remember words on paper can only do so much. Our Hutt Valley & Wellington Property Managers find regular property inspections are necessary to check the property is being well looked after and the agreement is being followed. Life gets busy, but inspections are worth the time and effort. Keep in mind that landlords must provide at least 48 hours written notice when giving inspections.
What if Tenants Breach a Condition in the Tenancy Agreement?
The best way to start is by first contacting the tenants to make sure they’re aware of the breach and try resolve it by simple communication.
If this doesn’t work, send the tenants a 14-day Notice To Remedy to officially alert the tenant of the issue and provide them 14 days to remedy it.
You can contact Tenancy Services for guidance as to what can be done in the event of a breach. Usually these steps resolve the issue, however if not, the final step is taking the case to the Tenancy Tribunal.
The tenancy agreement and Residential Tenancies Act does protect landlords for the most part. The point of being able to add these extra clauses is so you can customise the agreement to you and your property’s needs.
If you're considering Property Management get in touch with us today. Locally owned and managed, we offer residential property management services across Wellington & Hutt Valley.
We take care of investments, offering peace of mind and a personal service to investors and tenants alike. Our solutions are backed by industry-leading technology and proven systems that promote both excellent property care and strong investment returns.
If you would like to chat about the possibility of working together, or to receive a no-obligation, FREE Rental Appraisal get in touch with our team today.
Quinovic Johnsonville | Wellington
Call Jordan Atkinson - 027 297 0873
Quinovic Hutt Valley | Wellington
Call Helen Vance - 027 487 8103
Quinovic Kent Terrace | Wellington
Call Jordan Atkinson - 027 297 0873
Quinovic Wellington Property Management