The Residential Tenancy Commissioner has the power to grant exemptions from the Minimum Standards for a property or a class/group of properties. The Commissioner will consider applications made for an exemption on the specific circumstances of the property and tenancy.
As a guide, exemptions will be considered where the Commissioner considers that the property:
technically does not meet the wording of the particular part of the Act but demonstrates that it meets the intent of the Act
for example, a unit in a lifestyle village has no cooking facilities because meals are prepared and taken in a shared dining space. Therefore, the property does not meet the cooking facility requirements, but the Act’s intention is met, in that the tenant has access to cooked food
the minimum standard should not apply due to an alternative design or technological solution
for example, a house in a scenic, isolated location has been built using double glazing. Therefore, window coverings are not necessary for privacy or warmth.
Other examples might be compostable toilets; or a property powered solely by solar power
- the tenant would not be unfairly disadvantaged by an exemption.
If an exemption has been granted, it will be required to be attached to the lease, and will only be granted for a specific timeframe.
The Commissioner will allow a tenant to make an application at any time to have the exemption removed if they feel the property no longer meets the intent of the minimum standard (for example, if development took place near the isolated property, which meant privacy became an issue again, or the lifestyle village no longer offered cooked meals).
How to apply for an exemption to a minimum standard
If you wish to apply for your property to be exempt from having to meet a minimum standard, you should apply in writing to the Residential Tenancy Commissioner via email or post (see Contact us).
Your application should state:
- the property address
- which minimum standard you seek exemption from
- reasons for the exemption – particular aspects of the property that mean the minimum standard is met without having the requirements specified in the Act (see Minimum Standards)
- the period of the exemption
- whether the property has a current tenant (and include a copy of the lease)
Your application should include any other details that are relevant, such as photographs of the property and surrounds.