Special Conditions

Sometimes tenancy agreements have extra terms and conditions in them.

They are either written in the contract alongside all the information you would expect to find, or as an attachment to your contract.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)'s ‘Residential Tenancy Agreement’ is the most recognised tenancy agreement and has been in use for several years.
In this contract there are a few empty lines for writing in any special conditions, under the heading ‘Other terms of this tenancy’.

Many landlords choose to develop their own tenancy agreements, especially property management companies.

This means that sometimes the special conditions are listed amongst all the other regular information.

Examples of Special Conditions

1. Keep the carpet clean at the end of the tenancy: Clauses requiring professional carpet cleaning are not legally binding. However, the tenants does have to leave the premises in a reasonable tidy and clean standard. The longer the tenancy lasts, the more likely the carpet will need to be cleaned. 

2. No pets, one cat only etc: Generally considered to be an acceptable special condition. If this is breached it may allow the landlord the ability to claim costs at the end of the tenancy for damage considered to be greater than the expected ‘wear and tear’.

3. Maximum number of tenants: Not the number of tenants but the number of people/ occupants who can live at the property.

4. Tenant to ventilate the house and not to use portable gas heaters: This is to remind tenants that both landlords and tenants have a part to play in preventing dampness and damage caused by dampness.

5. Tenant to pay callout charges for tradespeople: The landlord would pay the call-out charge for general repairs and maintenance, and the tenant pays for it when the required repairs result from the deliberate or negligent behaviour of the tenant or their invited guests.

Please note: We have deliberately not said if certain conditions are right or wrong, as every tenancy and dispute can be different. If you are not sure about anything in your tenancy agreement, seek tenancy advice.

The purpose of many special conditions is to explain the expectations of the landlord about how the property will be looked after, so don’t assume the landlord is ‘up to no good’ just because there are a lot of special conditions in the contract. The risk to landlords of including a lot of special conditions is that the contract becomes overwhelming and the really important features of the contract can become lost.

Remember - a tenancy agreement is a CONTRACT.
The Special Conditions are part of your contract so read them just as thoroughly as the rest of the contract before you sign.

Contact Details

Tenants Protection Association (ChCh) Inc
Te Tōpū Tiaki-ā-Kainoho
Room 3, 301 Tuam Street, Christchurch 8011
Ph.(03) 379-2297

info [at] tpa [dot] org [dot] nz (subject: Enquiry%20from%20Website)