The Auckland Property Investors Association (APIA) has outlined information for landlords affected by Auckland’s flooding.
Given the extent of flooding over the weekend, APIA expects many landlords to be knee-deep in remedial response. The coming weeks can be particularly distressing for anyone involved in the residential tenancy space.
There will be moments when you are called upon to make tough choices. Remember always to be kind, prioritise optimal long-term outcomes over easy, quick fixes and carry on with the perspective that (most) people are motivated by what protects them, not what harms you.
In the meantime, we have some general information to help you through the initial response stage. Remember to adopt a triage mindset and prioritise your tenant's safety first and foremost:
• First response tips from APIA president Kristin Sutherland Watch here
• How to tell if yours is a sudden or hidden gradual water damage
• What does loss of rent insurance actually cover?
• Termination and rental abatement rules following the destruction of premises (s59 of the Residential Tenancies Act). Note the following:
o If the property is destroyed or so seriously damaged that it is uninhabitable:
Either party can terminate the tenancy with a written notice; for the landlord, it is a 7-day notice, and for the tenant, two days.
Rent has to be abated accordingly (remember to document the abatement clearly).
o If the property is partially destroyed or part(s) of it is so damaged as to render it uninhabitable:
Either party can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the tenancy terminated
Rent has to be abated accordingly.
• Note the rules on retaliatory notice, especially if you are terminating a tenancy in the short term (maximum penalty $6,500)
Useful accounts to follow for updates on the flood, emergency response and available support:
Useful information to share with your tenants, especially those who are at risk or suffer financial hardship: