Ask a question
Do you have a question for us? You may find the information you need below:
If your question is about tenancy agreements:
A tenancy agreement is a contract between tenants and landlords. They must be in writing, but the Residential Tenancies Act still applies if there is no written agreement. The tenancy agreement applies from the start date of the tenancy (as listed in the agreement) until the tenancy ends.
We have a residential tenancy agreement available. We regularly update this agreement so please check you are using the latest version available on our website when starting a tenancy as older versions may not meet current requirements.
You may find the answer to your question on one of the below pages:
If your question is about ending a tenancy:
If the tenancy is periodic (there is no fixed end date), then landlords and tenants need to give the correct amount of notice.
If the tenancy is for a fixed-term, neither the landlord nor the tenant can give notice to end it early. However there are some options available if landlords or tenants want to do this.
Fixed-term tenancies automatically become periodic at the end of the fixed-term. They can also be renewed or extended if the landlord and tenant agree. If the landlord or tenant doesn’t want the tenancy to continue past the end date, they need to let the other person know in writing. This must be done between 90 and 21 days before the end of the fixed-term.
You will find more information on ending a tenancy on the below pages:
If your question is about bond lodgements or refunds:
If a landlord charges a bond they must lodge it with us within 23 working days. The maximum bond that can be charged is the equivalent of 4 weeks’ rent. When we’ve received a complete and correct form, our processing times are:
- Bond lodgements: 10-15 working days
- Bond refunds: 5-10 working days
Once the bond is lodged, the tenant and landlord will receive an acknowledgement. This will include the bond number.
The same people who sign the bond lodgement form need to sign the bond refund form when the tenancy ends. If any of the signatures are missing or if the signatures don’t match, there’ll be delays processing the refund.
If the landlord and tenant can’t agree on the refund amount, you will need to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal.
If the landlord or tenant can’t or won’t sign the bond refund form, complete the form anyway and send it to us. We will try to contact the person who hasn’t signed to check with the refund.
There’s more information about bonds, including how to prevent problems with bonds, on the below pages:
If your question is about Tenancy Tribunal applications:
To make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal you need to complete an application form. It costs $20.44 to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal. You can apply online.
You can also view, amend, respond to or provide more information for an existing application online. If you have already submitted your application, you can upload additional documents and add notes to the application. You will not be able to change existing documents or information.
If you need to withdraw your application, you can do this by sending a message to our case management team through the online application system.
Applications that are scheduled for a hearing are transferred to the relevant District Court 5 days before the hearing. If you have a query or want to withdraw the application within this timeframe, you’ll need to contact the District Court.
If your question is about rights of entry or inspections:
Landlords can enter the grounds of the property without giving notice. They do need to make sure they’re not interfering with the tenant’s peace comfort and privacy.
To go inside the rental property, landlords must give the right amount of notice or get their tenant’s permission. Notice periods vary depending on why the landlord is entering the property.
It’s a good idea for landlords to regularly inspect the property. Inspections can’t be more often than once every four weeks.
There’s more information on rights of entry and inspections on the below pages:
- More information on accessing the property
- More information on rights of entry for boarding houses
- More information on inspections
If your question is about rent:
It’s important that tenants pay the rent on time. If they don’t, they are breaching the tenancy agreement. If either the landlord or tenant notices a rent payment has been missed, let the other person know straight away and see if you can agree a way to bring the rent up to date.
If you can’t reach an agreement:
- the landlord can send a notice to remedy (if the tenant owes less than 21 days rent).
- the landlord can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for termination of the tenancy (if the tenant owes 21 days of rent or more, or doesn’t remedy the overdue rent).
There’s more information on rent, including rent increases and rent arrears, on the below pages:
If your question is about the healthy homes standards or other recent legislation changes:
There were three major changes to renting law in 2019.
Since 1 July 2019, ceiling and underfloor insulation is compulsory in all rental homes where it is reasonably practicable to install. It must comply with the regulations and be safely installed.
The healthy homes standards became law on 1 July 2019. They introduce minimum standards for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress and drainage, and draught stopping in rental properties. Landlords will need to comply with the standards between 1 July 2021 and 1 July 2024. The actual compliance date will depend on their situation.
The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2019 took effect on 27 August 2019. The amendments cover:
- Tenant liability for careless damage
- Unlawful residential premises
- Contamination of premises
You’ll find a lot more information on these changes on the below webpages:
Where else can I find information?
We can provide information on rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act (the Act). If your question is not covered by the information above, you can contact us using the details below.
Not all renting arrangements are covered by Act, for example:
- flatmates (people who live in the property but aren’t on the tenancy agreement)
- where someone is a boarder or lodger living with the property owner
- holiday homes
- retirement villages and rest homes
- commercial tenancies.
If one of the above situations apply to you, we’re unable to provide any further information. There are other organisations that provide information and support listed below.
Support and information for landlords:
- New Zealand Property Investors Federation (external link)
- Business.govt.nz (external link)
- EECA Energywise (external link)
Support and information for property managers:
- Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) (external link)
- Property Managers Institute of New Zealand (external link)
- Leading Property Managers Association (external link)
Support and information for tenants and flatmates:
Contact us by phone
You can call us for free if you’re in New Zealand. We're open from 8:00am - 5:30pm, Monday to Thursday and 9:00am - 5:30pm on Friday. We’re not open on public holidays.
Tenancy information0800 836 262
Overseas: +64 4 238 4695
Bond0800 737 666
Please have your bond number ready when you call
Overseas: +64 4 238 4693
If you speak a different language
You can use the free telephone interpreting service.
If you are Deaf or hearing impaired
We can use the Video Relay Service to provide information after 9:00am. Visit the NZ Relay website to see how it works. (external link)
Please note, applications received to PO Box 50 546, Porirua 5240 after 6 May 2017 will be returned to sender.
PO Box 76469
PO Box 50-445
Fax +64 4 237 7884
PO Box 50-394
Fax +64 4 237 6351
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
PO Box 76469
For help with forms or specific tenancy questions, please call our Service Centre on 0800 836 262 (0800 Tenancy) in the first instance.
The locations below are open from 8.30am to 4.30pm weekdays (excluding public holidays).
To make sure someone is available to help you, please make an appointment by calling 0800 836 262 (0800 Tenancy).
280 Queen Street
161 Cashel Street
430 Victoria Street
205 Victoria Street
Level 4, MIT Building
25 Davies Avenue
(Cnr Davies Ave and Manukau Station Road)
If you would like to visit us at our regional locations, you must make an appointment. You can do this by calling 0800 836 262 (0800 Tenancy).
Our Compliance Team monitors and enforces compliance with the Act. If you are concerned about serious or ongoing breaches of the Act that affect vulnerable people, read about what they do and how to contact the team.
Official Information Act requests
The Official Information Act (OIA) provides access to information held by Government agencies.
You do not need to submit an OIA request for information that is publically available or to request general information and advice. For general information and advice requests you may use the tenancy enquiry form.
If you want to obtain official information held by MBIE and subject to the Official Information Act, you can fill out the MBIE Official Information Act request form.