Tenancy and landlords

The next steps to take if you are unable to resolve an issue with your landlord or tenants.

Who do I go to?

Tenancy Services(external link) and the Tenancy Tribunal(external link) if you have a dispute with your landlord or tenant that you are unable to resolve.

The Privacy Commissioner(external link) if you believe that someone has interfered with your privacy.

The Commerce Commission(external link) if you want to report a business within New Zealand for false or misleading conduct or statements under the Fair Trading Act.

The District Court(external link) for claims of more that $50,000.

What kind of problems do they handle?

Tenancy Services (which is a part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) and the Tenancy Tribunal (which is part of the Ministry of Justice) deal with disputes about residential tenancies (rented homes including boarding houses) and unit title disputes.

The Tribunal hears tenancy disputes involving claims up to $50,000.

Disputes process(external link)

Landlords and tenants have options for resolving disputes:

To access FastTrack Resolution, mediation or a Tribunal hearing you need to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal online by visiting the Tenancy Services website(external link). The fee is $20.44 (including GST).

What do I need to do?

  1. Contact the landlord or tenant to discuss the problem.
  2. If you reach an agreement that you would like formalised by way of a mediator’s order, the landlord can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for FastTrack Resolution.
  3. If you don’t reach an agreement, you can issue a 14-day Notice to remedy(external link), which gives the other person 14 days to fix the problem.
  4. If it still isn’t fixed, you can then apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter sorted out.
  5. Once you’ve made your application, Tenancy Services may offer scheduled mediation, formalise a FastTrack Resolution application or schedule a Tenancy Tribunal hearing.
  6. If you reach an agreement at mediation, the mediator writes a mediator’s order outlining how the landlord and tenant agreed to solve the problem.
  7. If you don’t reach an agreement at mediation, the application may be referred to the Tenancy Tribunal for a court hearing.
  8. At the court hearing, an adjudicator will make a decision and issue an order to settle the dispute.

What else do I need to consider?

The Tenancy Tribunal can make a number of different orders including:

  • Orders to regain possession of a property
  • Order for compensation, if a person has suffered a loss because of something the other person did (or didn’t do)
  • Orders to recover money such as payment for overdue rent, damage, cleaning, or reimbursement of costs, such as urgent repairs
  • Orders for the payment of bond
  • Orders to get work done such as repairs or maintenance.

If you disagree with the decision made at a Tribunal hearing, you have two options:

  • apply for a rehearing
  • appeal to the District Court.

If a tenant or landlord doesn’t do what they’ve been ordered to do by the Tribunal, the order may be enforced through the Collections Unit of the Ministry of Justice. 

Where can I get more information?

Tenancy services

Visit the website(external link)

Phone: 0800 836 262 (0800 TENANCY)

Tenancy Tribunal

Contact the Tenancy Tribunal through Tenancy Services which is the main point of contact for the Tribunal.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 268 787

Collections Unit – Ministry of Justice

Find your local Collections unit office(external link)