If you're having problems with the renting process, eg struggling to get your landlord to fix a problem, or sort out a bond issue, follow these steps:
- Contact your landlord/property manager: Many issues can be solved at this step.
- Give them a notice to remedy letter: Put your complaint in writing with a deadline to fix the issue.
- Contact Tenancy Services: Make your agreement official or get help with dispute resolution.
If you're new to renting and want to avoid problems down the track, check out:
Preparing to rent
1. Contact your landlord/property manager
Before you do, read our information on:
- your rights and responsibilities
- how to complain.
Tenants and landlords have rights and responsibilities under the The Residential Tenancies Act.
- respect the tenants' privacy, eg the landlord can visit the outside of the property but cannot enter the house without giving 24 hours notice, unless it's an emergency
- keep the property in a reasonable condition, eg fix issues like a broken oven or leaky roof
- meet health and safety standards
- handle items left at the property in the right way, eg ask the tenant to collect their things
- let tenants know if the property is for sale
- assign an agent, eg a property manager, if they are out of the country for more than 21 days.
- take your things
- interfere with a tenant's reasonable peace, comfort and privacy, eg turning up announced
- get in the way of services to the property, eg power, gas, internet.
- pay rent on time
- keep the property reasonably clean and tidy during the tenancy and leave it clean and tidy at the end of the tenancy
- tell the landlord about any damage or repairs straight away
- pay for their own bills
- leave all keys with the landlord
- leave all items that came with the property, eg curtains, fridge.
- stop paying rent if the landlord hasn't done repairs
- damage the property
- disturb the neighbours or other tenants
- make changes to the property without the landlord's written consent (for minor changes that can be reversed, landlords must agree, but can set reasonable conditions)
- use the property for illegal purposes
- have more than the maximum number of people in the tenancy agreement living in the property.
Tenants and landlords must:
- make sure the tenancy agreement is in writing
- keep their contact details up to date
- not change locks without permission.
Difference between flatmate and tenant
If you are not named on the lease/tenancy agreement you are not a tenant, you are a flatmate. Flatmates are not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act.
They are not responsible to the landlord for the rent or the state of the property. They are responsible to the tenant for their share of the rent.
If you have a problem as a flatmate which you cannot resolve yourself, eg another flatmate or tenant has damaged something you own, you cannot take your complaint to Tenancy Services. You need to apply to the Disputes Tribunal instead.
Disputes Tribunal — Take your complaint further
For more information on tenants and flatmates, see Tenancy Services.
Flatting(external link) — Tenancy Services