Your tenancy agreement
A tenancy agreement is a legal document that outlines the landlord's and tenant's responsibilities. It also records the number of people who can live at a house.
Make sure you keep a copy of your tenancy agreement, and refer to it if you have any questions about your tenancy.
The agreement at a glance
Some of the responsibilities explained in our tenancy agreement with you are that we will:
- make sure your house or flat is in good condition and that the locks and fastenings are adequate
- make sure your house meets building and health and safety standards
- arrange for essential repairs to be done as quickly as possible
- give you 24 hours notice before doing any planned maintenance work
- give you 48 hours notice before an inspection
- review your rent if your income, or your partner's income changes or the number of people living in your house or flat changes - if you're paying income-related rent
- give you 60 days notice in writing of any rent increase
- not increase your rent within 180 days of moving in or your last rent increase.
By signing the tenancy agreement, you agree to:
- pay your rent on time
- keep your house and garden tidy and not damage the property - if friends, family or visitors damage the property, you need to pay for the repairs
- call us when repairs are needed
- pay your phone and power bills, and for light bulbs
- insure your furniture or belongings against damage, fire or theft
- let us know immediately if your income, your partner's income or the number of people living in your house or flat changes - if you're paying income-related rent
- leave the property clean and tidy, remove all your possessions, and return all sets of keys when you move out
- consider your neighbours
- not let anyone else rent your house or let anyone other than you and your family live there without our permission
- not use the property for an unlawful purpose or let anyone else use it for unlawful purposes
- not change the locks on your house or flat without our agreement.
If you don't meet the conditions in your tenancy agreement
If you break the conditions of your agreement and it is something that can be fixed, we will ask you to fix the problem within 14 days. If you don't fix the problem, we will ask the Department of Building and Housing for mediation or go direct to the Tenancy Tribunal to end your tenancy and get you to pay any money owed by a specified date.
If you're having difficulty paying your rent, let us know. We may be able to help you with other subsidies such as income-related rent, more suitable arrangements to pay money you owe, or suggest you get budget advice.
If you break the conditions of your agreement, and it has a serious impact upon us or any other person we will ask the Tenancy Tribunal to end your tenancy immediately.
Mediation is a way for people to sort out problems with the help of a trained, impartial person. The mediator will try to help the people in a dispute to come to an agreement that works for both parties. For more information about mediation, contact the Department of Building and Housing's Tenancy Services on 0800 TENANCY (0800 83 62 62).
The Tenancy Tribunal
The Tenancy Tribunal is a court set up to deal with unresolved problems between tenants and landlords. We may apply for a Tenancy Tribunal Order if you:
- owe more than 21 days' rent
- have caused or threatened to cause substantial damage to your house or garden
- have assaulted or threatened to assault a Housing New Zealand staff member or neighbour
- have had 14 days' notice to do something under the tenancy agreement but haven't done it
- have broken one or more of the terms of your tenancy agreement with us and the problem cannot be resolved
- have used or allowed your house or flat to be used for illegal activities.
For more information about the Tenancy Tribunal, contact the Department of Building and Housing's Tenancy Services on 0800 TENANCY (0800 83 62 62).
Independent advice for tenants
If you have a complaint or concern about Housing New Zealand, contact us in the first instance on 0800 801 601. If you're not satisfied with the result, you may decide to apply for mediation or to go to the Tenancy Tribunal. Application forms are available from all Department of Building and Housing offices. There is an application fee of $20.
The Department of Building and Housing also provides free advice for tenants.