Maintenance guidelines

‘Maintenance’ is referred to in some of the duty sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 and in the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 but is not defined by these laws.

The guidelines set out maintenance activities that should be undertaken by rental providers and renters, in addition to those specified under the law, to ensure they are meeting their duties.

Rental provider maintenance activities

The guidelines include the following maintenance activities that should be undertaken by rental providers to ensure they are meeting their duty to provide and maintain the property in good repair [section 68].


  • Recording maintenance requests
  • Providing the renter with any instructions that might relate to the use or cleaning of fixtures at the property

Outside the property

  • Painting or repairing fences
  • Major pruning and removal of trees, shrubs, and plants
  • Clearing gutters
  • Washing the outside of windows that are not easily accessible by the renter, especially those on upper levels
  • Building work involving the property’s structure
  • Maintenance of water tanks if present
  • Checking septic tanks and septic tank pumps at regular intervals in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions

Properties with an owners’ corporation

For properties where there is an owners’ corporation, such as apartment buildings, the owners’ corporation will generally be responsible for repairing and maintaining:

  • Common property, for example a garden or nature strip
  • Chattels, fixtures, fittings and services related to common property, such as in common hallways or entry areas
  • Equipment and services that benefit some or all of the residences and common property, such as a common laundry

Renter maintenance activities

The guidelines include the following maintenance activities that should be undertaken by renters to ensure they are meeting their duties to keep the property reasonably clean [section 63] and to not intentionally or negligently cause damage [section 61]. See also the section headed ‘Cleanliness guidelines’ on this page.

Inside the property

  • Cleaning any fixtures installed at the rented premises
  • Replacing light bulbs which do not require new light fittings
  • Dusting and wiping down surfaces, including heating or cooling vents
  • Carpet and floor cleaning
  • Cleaning the inside of any windows and the outside of any ground floor windows
  • Cleaning the inside of the balcony doors, windows, and tracks
  • Emptying and cleaning the dishwasher filter as needed (if a dishwasher is installed), following manufacturer’s instructions
  • Cleaning behind and underneath appliances, if they can be moved safely without damage to floor
  • Cleaning scuff marks and fingerprints off walls where the texture of the wall allows it to be cleaned
  • Cleaning wet areas, such as bathrooms and laundries

Outside the property

  • Regular gardening duties and yard maintenance – for example, weeding, pruning or lawn mowing. If you have an agreement with the rental provider that they will be responsible for maintaining the garden or yard, this guideline may not be relevant to you
  • Regular disposal of garbage and other waste, using bins provided by the council