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Damage to your rental: who foots the bill?

Published: 20th May 2019

Author: Andrew Bright, RMY Legal

Published in: Property eSpeaking

We all know that if a rental is damaged due to fair wear and tear, that the landlord is responsible for the repair costs as part of general maintenance. Fair wear and tear includes things like worn carpet, appliances breaking and scuff marks on the walls.

Some landlords, however, don’t realise they are also responsible for paying for other damage. For example:

• If a property is damaged by a natural disaster the landlord is expected to cover the damage, even if the landlord doesn’t have insurance
• Where the rental is damaged and the landlord’s insurance policy will cover the damage, the landlord is responsible for organising the repairs. The exceptions to this are where the damage was intentional, and resulted in an imprisonable offence or where the tenant (or their guest) has caused the insurance policy to be voided, and
• The landlord is also responsible for any excess and cannot pass this on to their tenant.

It is good practice to regularly check your insurance policy and to make sure your tenants are aware of any restrictions. If you are renting, ask if your landlord has insurance and what the terms of the policy are.

If a dispute arises about damage to your rental, we can help you with this.

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  • Nelson
  • Northland
  • Otago
  • Southland
  • Taranaki
  • Waikato
  • Wairarapa
  • Wellington
  • West Coast

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