When an owner rents a property to a tenant and the property does not meet one or more minimum standards, the owner is in breach of the Residential Tenancy Act 1997. This means they are also in breach of the lease.
The owner could be fined by the Residential Tenancy Commissioner’s office.
It also means the tenant has a right to:
- request repairs or
- terminate the lease (by giving a notice) if the standard is not met before they leave.
The tenant should:
- attempt to have the owner fix the problem or
- issue a notice to terminate
Important: the notice becomes invalid if a tenant issues the owner with a notice to terminate because the property does not meet a minimum standard, and the owner fixes the issue before the date the notice takes effect. This means if the tenant leaves, they will be considered to be breaking the lease.