As a tenant, you are responsible for the general upkeep and maintenance of the property
– including the following:
Grounds and garden
Refer back to your signed Tenancy Agreement or Property Manager for clarification on this if you are unsure, however unless you have been advised that this responsibility is not yours it is safe to assume that as the tenant, you are responsible for maintaining the grounds, lawns and gardens so that these are kept in a reasonably clean and tidy condition at all times.
Gutters should be cleaned out at least once a year to remove leaves and debris. If you see wet patches or a concentration of mold on the walls or ceiling close to the gutters then this may indicate they are blocked – and you must advise your property manager immediately.
Mould and mildew
Mould and mildew are invariably present in many New Zealand households, and its removal and containment are the tenants responsibility. There are three conditions that have to be present for the growth of mould.
- Mould spores
- A surface with sufficient food source to maintain life
- A source of moisture
To prevent moisture build-up from the interior of the home it is desirable to have a balance between adequate heating and ventilation. The interior temperature should ideally be maintained between about 18 to 22 degrees for comfort.
Ventilate your home by leaving windows open a centimetre or two depending on the outside air movement and the amount of cross ventilation. The general rule is, ventilate little and often, rather than in short vigorous bursts. Window glass is a good guide, if it starts to show more than the minimum of condensation, the windows should be open a little further.
- Open the windows and doors when you are home.
- Open windows and use and extractor fans for steam to escape from cooking and bathing
- Vent clothes dryers directly outside
- Open curtains early in the morning and close them when the sun goes down
- Cupboard heaters can help in wardrobes if mildew is likely to occur
- Do not put damp clothes or shoes in a wardrobe
- Keep lids on pots when cooking
- Wipe condensation off walls and windows when it happens
- Hang washing outside to dry when possible
- Use electric heaters rather than gas (gas heaters expel water as the gas burns)
To protect your health and that of your family/flatmates, remove mould as soon as it appears. You can use diluted household bleach (one part bleach mixed with three parts water), or a less abrasive cleaner like cider vinegar.
Use a sponge or cloth when washing off mould and rinse it often to reduce the risk of it spreading.
Please keep pot plants outside where possible and if these are to be placed inside, please check with your Property Manager first, and preferably in writing to ensure you do not breach your Tenancy Agreement. Pot plants placed on hard surfaces may leave a circular indent, stain or damage and pot plants placed on carpet areas run the risk of rotting or damaging the carpet underneath.
Please ensure that you clean the fly dirt off surfaces regularly, so this will not be a major job at the end of the tenancy. This will also be monitored during regular routine inspections.
Pest control / infestations
If you have pest infestation problems, you should consider whether there are cleanliness issues to address that may be causing the problem. If the cause does not appear to be related to cleanliness you could discuss the problem with your Property Manager as soon as possible to determine if eradication or fumigation is necessary. Tenants have an obligation to keep the premises reasonably clean and tidy. Infestations that can be attributed to a lack of cleanliness may be your responsibility to remedy. In these cases your Property Manager could seek an order from the Tenancy Tribunal for the fumigation work to be done and for the tenant to be charged. Ensuring your property is clean will do a lot to keep the rats and mice away as well as making sure there is no food source or somewhere for them to nest – steel wool is good for blocking up any mouse holes you may find.