What do you do if you find holes in your walls? If you get a hole, the damage can be more than aesthetic. Depending on the location and size of the hole it could expose critical components of the property such as plumbing or electrical. Any damage to these could cause serious issues and leave you with a sizeable cost, so it’s important to have them repaired as soon as possible.
For owner-occupiers, these repairs of course fall to the owner to sort out. But who repairs holes in walls for rental properties? For rental properties determining who fixes holes in walls depends on how the damage happened.
What caused the damage to the walls?
The main way to determine who is responsible for repairing holes in walls is where the damage came from. In many cases, the tenant will have to come up with the cost to pay for the damage. When the tenant is responsible it typically falls into one of two categories: Intentional damage and Careless damage.
If the damage to the walls is done on purpose, the tenant will need to pay the full cost of the repair. They will need to cover the cost of the repair itself as well as labour costs for someone to fix it.
Careless damage is a more complicated case. If a tenant damages a wall unintentionally like putting up a canvas that is too heavy or making an accidental hole with a hammer, this would fall under careless damage. Updated legislation in 2019 adjusted how this category of damage is handled. Now, tenants are liable for the damage with a maximum cost equal to four weeks’ rent or the insurance excess of the landlord, whichever is lower.
For cases where it’s not clear cut what type the damage falls under, the Tenancy Tribunal can settle the dispute.
Exceptions to tenants having to fix holes in walls
While in most cases the tenant will need to pay to fix damage to walls, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, the damage arises due to natural causes or something the tenant is not at fault for. Some of these situations include:
- Natural Disasters. New Zealand is lucky that we are at low risk for many types of natural disasters such as tornadoes. However, windstorms, flooding, and earthquakes are all possibilities. Damage to the structure of the property itself due to one of these events falls to the landlord or landlord’s insurance policy to address.
- Break-ins and burglaries. Damage to walls caused by criminal activity such as break-ins and burglaries are not the tenants’ responsibility. Like with natural disasters, the landlord or their insurance will need to pay for these repairs.
- Normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear from using the property in a normal manner is also the landlord’s responsibility. Under the recent updates to legislation for renters, renters can now make small changes such as hanging curtains and pictures, which could result in holes in walls if done improperly. But when they do it properly this would fall under normal wear and tear instead, which is the landlord’s responsibility.
Who can you call to repair holes in walls?
Whether you are a landlord or tenant, if you have a large hole that needs fixed you will likely need the services of a contractor or general maintenance team. At Nexus, we do general maintenance services for any property type. We can fix small or large holes in walls as well as do whole room remodelling and renovations. If you need someone for wall repairs or any other property maintenance, give us a call or contact us today.