Quinovic’s property managers are reminding landlords to supply insurance details for their properties as soon as possible.
Under changes to the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act, landlords need to provide insurance information in any new tenancy agreement, including whether the property is insured and if so, what the excess amount is. The tenancy agreement must also state that a copy of the insurance policy is available on request.
Property managers need to have all the relevant information on their files, especially with so many properties due for re-tenanting in early 2020.
If tenants damage a rental property as a result of careless behaviour, they will be liable for the cost of the damage up to a maximum of four weeks’ rent or the landlord’s insurance excess, whichever is lower.
Tim Grafton, chief executive of the Insurance Council of NZ (ICNZ), confirmed that the cost applied regardless of whether a landlord has insurance and, if it is not paid, the property manager can take the case to the Tenancy Tribunal on the landlord’s behalf.
While tenant insurance is not compulsory, the Insurance Council recommends tenants have their own contents insurance to cover them for liability for damage to other people’s property and damage to their own possessions in the event of a natural disaster, break-in or other accidents.
If landlords don’t provide insurance information, or if they don’t tell tenants, in writing, within a reasonable time if this information changes, they may be liable for a fine up to $500.
In addition, tenants on existing tenancies will be able to ask their landlords for insurance information, and this must also be provided within a reasonable time.
Finally, insurance companies will not be able to pursue tenants on the landlord’s behalf for the cost of damage unless the damage was intentional or the result of an act or omission that constitutes an imprisonable offence.
Healthy homes assessments
Healthy Homes assessments are being undertaken by Quinovic on your behalf to ensure your property is compliant. The checks are a necessary compliance requirement for rental properties and there is a cost associated with these. It is important you notify your property manager if you are able to provide all of the documentation proving you meet Healthy Homes standards, as may be the case for a new build.
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