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Can a landlord ask tenants to keep the house cleaner?

24 October 2022

The Residential Tenancies Act requires tenants to keep the premises 'reasonably' clean and tidy.

A landlord may discover that the property is not "clean enough" when performing a regular inspection. The problem with asking tenants to keep things cleaner and tidier is that the level of tidiness can be subjective.

If the landlord was to issue a 14-day notice to remedy requiring tenants to clean and tidy the property, it might be hard to enforce or argue if this notice was valid. Unless the property's condition is such that, due to the tenant's use of the property, it may cause breaches of any building, health or safety requirements. Of course, any illegal use of the property is a different matter.

We would recommend casually bringing this up / discussing particular concerns during the inspection. Alternatively, you can provide a checklist of what you'd be checking during an upcoming inspection. It may encourage tenants to clean the property better prior to your visit.

If you're looking for an easy way to create inspection reports paperlessly on the go, try myInspections app

The information contained in this article is exclusively for promotional purposes. It does not in any way constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as the basis for any legal action or contractual dealings. The information is not, and does not attempt to be, a comprehensive account of the relevant law in New Zealand. If you require legal advice you should seek independent legal counsel. does not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.

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