Common sections of the RTA

Below are some common sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, landlords often either misunderstand these sections, or are not ware of them.

Discrimination to be an unlawful act

Sec 12. (2) (a) Instruct any person to discriminate against any other person in contravention of the Human Rights Act 1993 e.g. A person should not refuse to grant a tenancy to another on the grounds that it is intended that a child should live on the premises.

Rent in Advance

Sec 23 (1) A Landlord shall not require the payment of any rent –

  1. More than 2 weeks in advance; or

  2. Before the expiry of the period for which rent has been paid already


Sec 46. (1) The Landlord shall provide and maintain such locks and other similar devises as are necessary to ensure that the premises are reasonably secure

(2) Neither the landlord nor the tenant will alter or remove a lock or security device or add a lock or security device without the consent of the other.

Landlord’s responsibilities

Sec 45 (1) The Landlord shall -

  1. Provide the premises in a reasonable state of cleanliness; and

  2. Provide and maintain the premises in a reasonable state of repair having regard to the age and character of the premises and the period during which the remises are likely to remain habitable and available for residential purposes; and

  3. Comply with all requirements in respect of buildings, health, and safety under any enactment so far as they apply to the premises

Allowance for Reasonable Wear & Tear

Consideration must be given for the probable effect of reasonable wear & tear when the tenant vacates, as to whether the premises were in a reasonable condition when the tenant first took possession and the term of the tenancy.

Landlord Right of Entry

Sec 48      (1) The Landlord shall not enter the premises during the currency of the Tenancy Agreements except -

(a) With the consent of the tenant

(2) The Landlord may enter the premises –

(a) In any case of emergency; or -

(b) For the purpose of inspecting the premises. At any time between 8am & 7pm on a day specified in a notice given to the tenant not less that 48hours before the intended entry and not more frequently than once in any period of 4 weeks; or

(c) For the purpose of carrying out necessary repairs or maintenance of the premises at any time between 8am & 7pm of any day, after giving the tenant notice of not less than 24 hours before the intended entry

(3) For the purpose of showing the premises to prospective tenants or to prospective purchasers. the Landlord may with the prior consent of the tenant (which shall not be unreasonably withheld)

Breaking Fixed term Agreement Conditions- If a Tenant Breaks Their Fixed Term Tenancy

Please note- if a tenant breaks their fixed term agreement and vacates the property, they will be required to pay rent until a new tenant takes possession (or to the end of the agreement whichever occurs first). We recommend a periodic tenancy for this reason.

Mitigation of damage or Loss

Sec 49 Where any party to a Tenancy Agreement breaches any of the provisions of the agreement or of this Act, the other party shall all reasonable steps to limit the damage or loss arising from that breach.

Termination by notice (In Writing)

Sec 51 (1) A Landlord may give notice to terminate the tenancy as follows -

  1. Where the Landlord requires the premises for occupation by the Landlord or by any member of the Landlord’s family, 42 days

  2. Where the Landlord has agreed to sell the premises and is required by that agreement to yield the premises to the purchaser with vacant possession, 42 days.

  3. In any other case, 90 days.

Quiet Enjoyment

Sec 38 (1) The tenant is entitled to quiet enjoyment of the premises without interruption by the landlord or any person claiming under the landlord or with superior title to that of the Landlord; and

(2) The landlord will not cause or permit an interference with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of the tenant in the tenant's use of the premises; and

Tenant's responsibilities

Sec 40 (1) The Tenant shall -

  1. Pay the rent on time

  2. Use the premises principally for residential purpose

  3. Keep the premises reasonably clean and reasonably tidy.

  4. Notify the Landlord as soon as possible of any damage to the premises or the need for any repairs.

Sec 40 (2) The Tenant shall not –

  1. Intentionally or carelessly damage or permit any other person to damage the premises

  2. Use the premises or permit the premises to be used for any unlawful purpose.

  3. disturb the neighbours or the Landlord’s other tenants

Termination by notice (In Writing)

Sec 51 (2) The minimum period of notice required to be given by a tenant to terminate a tenancy shall be 21 days in writing.