Bad tenants targeted
Renters may have to take out insurance or pay the excess on their landlord’s insurance policy for property damage under changes being looked at by the Government.
The Government has confirmed it is looking at possible changes to the Residential Tenancy Act, affecting 450,000 renters.
The review has been sparked by an outcry over recent court decisions and Tenancy Tribunal rulings.
In one recent case the tribunal sided with a tenant who breached the tenancy agreement’s no pets policy. .
The tribunal rejected a claim by the landlord that she should pay to replace carpets ruined by a dog.
Although the tribunal accepted the tenant, Amanda Stewart, breached the tenancy agreement, it had not been established that she intended to damage the carpet.
In another case, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of a couple who were pursued by the landlord’s insurer for the cost of a house fire, caused by an untended pot on the stove.
The court sided with the renters, Kenji and Tieko Osaki, and the tribunal later put out a practice note to help clarify how the ruling would be applied.