When you’re trying to enforce a Tenancy Tribunal order, the Ministry of Justice needs a current address for the person named on the order. If you don’t have a current address for the person, we have a service that may be able to help you find one.
The service is offered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Work and Income (WINZ)(part of the Ministry of Social Development) working together.
Requesting address information
To request address information, complete an application for contact information form.
When you complete the form, you must:
- complete every section of the form
- explain the steps you’ve already taken to find the person, including any companies you’ve approached to help you
- list the addresses you’ve already tried
- attach a copy of the Tenancy Tribunal order or sealed mediator’s order.
Please include any information you have about the person’s identity. This could include a tenancy bond number, date of birth, IRD number or Work and Income client number. The more information you provide, the more likely we will be able to find an address.
You don’t need to provide descriptions of the person’s appearance or personal habits. The work to find an address is based on the information held, not a physical search.
Send your completed form to us. Details of where to send the form are on the form itself.
Our search process when we receive your form
When we receive your form, we search our databases for a current address as well as asking MoJ and WINZ . We try to find a current address for the person by comparing their signature on the bond you lodged with their signature on a current bond. We can also make a match by comparing their signature in other places, such as a mediator’s order, tenancy agreement, driver licence or passport.
If we find an address we’ll provide it to the MoJ so they can help you enforce your order. By law, we cannot release the information to you. We’ll send you a letter letting you know what steps you can take next.
Common reasons address information can’t be found or released
Sometimes we can’t find or release address information. Here are the most common reasons.
You didn’t supply all the necessary information
We can’t process a request without a copy of the sealed Tenancy Tribunal order and an explanation of the steps that have already been taken to find the person.
And we’re unlikely to make a match if you don’t supply sufficient identifying information about the person, such as their full name, birth date, WINZ client number, copies of signatures or last known address.
Information is held but not suitable
Although government agencies may hold address information, there are situations where the information would not help you. For example, enforcement action can’t proceed on PO Box addresses or incomplete addresses.
Information is held but not current
Sometimes a government agency may know that the address information they hold is unlikely to be current or usable for service. In these cases, the agency won’t release the address.
Next steps if your request is unsuccessful
If you’ve requested address information and we can’t find it or release it to you, you can take further steps to try to find an address.
- You can wait a few months, and then reactivate your application to us. After a few months, we might have new information in our files.
- You can request the address information from other government agencies using the Official Information Act.
- You can reapply if you get information that you couldn’t supply before, such as date of birth, IRD number or Work and Income client number.
- You can hire a tracing or debt collection agency.
Reapplying if your previous attempt was unsuccessful
You can reactivate your application if your previous attempt was unsuccessful. You can also reactivate your application if MoJ couldn’t serve notice of enforcement proceedings to your debtor at the address provided to them.
We recommend that you wait 3 months before you reactivate your application, to allow time for new information to become available.
Contact us to reactivate your application, or post or email your reactivation to us using the contact details on the application form.
Asking other government agencies
If you believe other government agencies may have your debtor’s home or workplace address, you can make a request to them under the Official Information Act. Use the same format as the application you made to us.
Preventing problems in the future
You can do some things to prevent problems with tenants in the future and avoid having to go through this process again. You can also make it easier to source new address information in case you do have to go through the process again.
When you meet with prospective tenants:
- ask for references and check them thoroughly
- carry out credit checks – several private debt collection agencies offer this service
- ask for photo ID and use a pre-tenancy application form.
Always ask tenants for a bond. The law allows you to collect up to 4 weeks’ bond, as well as 2 weeks’ rent in advance. Send the bond to us within 23 working days, along with a signed bond lodgement form.
Understand how enforcement of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 works. Make sure you collect the necessary information at the beginning of a tenancy, including a range of contact details: alternative address, work and mobile phone numbers, and email address. Ask for alternative contact details (of a family member or friend). These could be helpful if you need to contact the tenant in future.