Owners of rental properties are unhappy at insurance policies requiring property inspections every three months, saying it is too intrusive for tenants.

Landlord Paul Cornish is one who has expressed frustrated with the inspection condition in a quote from State Insurance.

"I really took issue with this condition indicating the lack of trust State have both in myself as a landlord and in tenants in general, and insisting that I intrude on their space so regularly," he said.

Another landlord agreed it was disruptive for tenants, even going as far as to say it may breach their right to quiet enjoyment.

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He said his property has been insured by the same company for 15 years and the quarterly inspection term was applied about five years ago.

"I have to continue disturbing my tenant every three months, even though they are good tenants who have been with me for four years with no sign of trouble," he said.
"Surely, a good track record should allow for some discretion".

CEO of NZ Properties Investors Federation Andrew King said he thinks such regular inspections are uncalled for, although they have become standard.

"It doesn't really seem to be necessary – it seems to be an overreaction to risk," he said. "There is not a lot you are going to pick up in three months really."

"Especially if the tenant has been there for a couple of years, after a period of time you could extend it from four to six months."

King said the policy adds extra expense to property owners and contributes to rising rents.

"It definitely adds in time and expenditure and of course that puts pressure on rents to rise."

NZPIF recommends landlords check their policies and carry out the inspections otherwise they may be void from making an insurance claim if something did go wrong.

Chief executive of the New Zealand Insurance Council Tim Grafton said policies differ based on the level of risk the insurer is comfortable with.

Chief executive of the New Zealand Insurance Council Tim Grafton said policies differ based on the level of risk the insurer is comfortable with.
Chief executive of the New Zealand Insurance Council Tim Grafton said policies differ based on the level of risk the insurer is comfortable with.

"Insurers generally require regular property inspections be carried out when a property is insured under landlord's cover so the landlord can ensure it's well-maintained and remains in good condition," he said.

If a property owner does not take due care, they may find they are not covered for damage caused by poor maintenance.

"Completing regular property inspections and keeping records of the inspection and results shows an insurer that a landlord is meeting the reasonable care and maintenance provisions of their policy," Grafton said.

Insurers also use inspection records as evidence to accurately and efficiently assess claims.