Going to a Tenancy Tribunal hearing can be a scary thought. Tribunal hearings are less formal than a normal court hearing, but you still need to know about the rules and procedures.

Telling the truth

The first thing that’s likely to happen is that the Tribunal will administer a promise. This means you’ll be asked to confirm that you’ll tell the truth.

You’ll tell your story, and so will the other person

Both landlord and tenant will tell their story. If you’re the applicant, you’ll be asked to explain your story first. You may find it useful to have all the facts written down and summarised so you can present them briefly and clearly. You may be questioned by the adjudicator (who’s like a judge) and the person you’re making the claim against.

Your witnesses can speak

If you have witnesses, they can be called to give evidence. If they can’t come to the hearing, talk to us about other options. Affidavits, unsworn statements or letters from witnesses might be allowed as evidence instead. But these may not be as effective as the witness being at the hearing.

The adjudicator will listen to the evidence and make a decision

The adjudicator will listen to you, the other person and any witnesses. They’ll then analyse all the evidence presented and make a decision based on how the Residential Tenancies Act applies to the situation. 

You’ll receive an order

The adjudicator will issue an order to settle the dispute. You and the other person will both receive a copy. You both have to obey the order.

In most cases, you’ll receive the order on the day of the hearing. If the decision is more complicated, the adjudicator will write up the details of the order and post it out later.  

Tribunal orders are public information. They’re published on the Ministry of Justice website and available from the District Court where the hearing took place.

Decisions the Tribunal can make tells you about different types of orders.