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Problems and complaintsNgā raruraru me ngā amuamu

Both landlords and tenants have responsibilities when it comes to rental properties. But when a tenant feels the property they’re renting is either dangerous or insanitary, and after the landlord has been informed, our Environmental Health and Building Control staff may become involved.

Housing Complaints

The Environmental Health & Building Control Departments of the Napier City Council are frequently asked to visit and assess possible sub-standard housing conditions. This provides tenants with information on when the Council may assist with substandard housing complaints and the process for lodging such complaints.

Please note that every tenant should familiarise themselves with their rights and obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 and the role of Tenancy Services in landlord/tenant relationships and disputes.

The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 outlines the landlord's responsibility to provide their premises in a reasonable state of cleanliness and to maintain it in a reasonable state of repair. But it also places some responsibility on tenants to keep the premises reasonably clean and tidy and to notify the landlord as soon as possible of any damage or need for any repairs.

Environmental Health and Building Control staff can only assist with housing complaints where the property in question is either dangerous or insanitary. The definitions for these two terms are outlined in the Building Act 2004 and are as follows:

  • Dangerous is defined as "is likely to cause injury or death (whether by collapse or otherwise) to any persons in it or to persons on other property or damage to any other property".
  • Insanitary is defined as "is so situated or of such construction or in such a state of disrepair as to be offensive or likely to be injurious to health; or its provisions against moisture penetration are so insufficient or in such a defective condition as to cause dampness in the building or in any adjoining building; or it is without a supply of potable water adequate for its intended use; or it has inadequate sanitary facilities for its intended use.

The limits of NCC's powers

No matter how minor or serious your concerns regarding your dwelling may be, initially you must inform your landlord.

If the dwelling meets the definition of dangerous or insanitary and you remain unhappy with your landlord's action or response, please call the Council and ask to speak with Environmental Health. If you are unsure whether or not your dwelling meets the dangerous or insanitary definition, call and discuss the matter over the phone.

Please note that while Council staff may assist with complaints concerning dangerous or insanitary buildings, we are not in the business of assisting in disputes over minor issues such as broken windows or locks, rotting carpet, old appliances - or mediating over lease agreements or rental prices. If you have any concerns or complaints over these area you should contact Tenancy Services.


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