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  • Writer's picturewayne hawke

Inexperience Can Cost Landlords

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

I recently read an article about a Wellington “landlord” offering her garage for $400 to a couple or $300 for a single person. When the ad was viewed it caused outrage and rightly so. When the local council was informed by one of the outraged, and it in turn contacted the “landlord” she removed the ad and withdrew the garage for rent.

How anyone could think it is acceptable to rent a drafty, un-insulated garage with no kitchen and no access to a toilet facility is hard to comprehend. Garages are for vehicles or perhaps a games/gym room but never for human habitation without making the appropriate changes.

If someone wants to convert a garage into a rental, the very first step is to apply to the local council for permission to convert an inhabitable space into a habitable space. At this stage a council representative will inspect the proposed dwelling and recommend all improvements needed to meet the Building Code before it is fit for people to live in it. This alone puts a lot of people off due to compliance costs.

That being done, now it’s time to learn all the regulations that need complying with so you have a legal tenancy i.e., study the Residential tenancies Act. A failure regarding this can be extremely expensive.

My advice to first time landlords is, do your research regarding the legal obligations landlords are required to fulfill and continually keep abreast of all the changes that may occur throughout the tenancy. If you’re not sure of something seek help from a professional and remember, ignorance is no defense of the law.

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