A new bill introduced by Building Minister Nick Smith suggests that if a tenant damages their rental property & it was their own carelessness or negligence that they’ll have to pay out of their own pockets to cover their landlord’s insurance excess.

• The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No. 2) will make tenants liable for their landlord’s insurance excess up a maximum of four weeks rent for damage caused by carelessness or negligence.

Landlords still had to pay for reasonable wear and tear or damage from natural disasters. If damage was deliberate, tenants remained liable for the full cost.

 Andrew King, executive officer of the Property Investors Federation, said he was pleased some action was being taken to hold tenants responsible for accidental damage, but it did not go far enough.

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