Decisions made during the Tenancy Tribunal hearing are called orders.
Each order explains who has to do what to resolve the dispute.
After you’ve been to mediation or a hearing, you will receive one of the following orders.
A mediator’s order (not sealed)
A mediator’s order records how the landlord and tenant agreed to solve the problem. These are issued when:
- the problem has already been solved
- everyone agrees to not let it happen again.
For example, where overdue rent has been paid.
Sometimes a mediator’s order is just a formal record of what was discussed during mediation.
A sealed mediator's order
Some mediator’s orders say what the landlord or tenant (or both) promise to do, and what will happen if they don’t do it. A mediator’s order like this may be sent to the Tenancy Tribunal to be sealed.
There’s a difference between a ‘mediator’s order’ and a ‘sealed mediator’s order’. All mediator’s orders are binding. If the applicant wants to enforce it through the Ministry of Justice, the order must be sealed (stamped) by the Tenancy Tribunal.
The most common situations for sealing a mediator’s order are when:
- the tenant has agreed to pay off the overdue rent in addition to the weekly rent
- the landlord has agreed to do work on the property.
If the tenant doesn't obey the order, the tenancy is normally ended. Any overdue money must also be repaid immediately.
If the landlord doesn't obey the order, the tenant will normally pay less rent until the property is fixed. If the tenant has a fixed term tenancy agreement, they may also end the tenancy if they want to.
A Tenancy Tribunal order
After a Tenancy Tribunal hearing has happened, the Tribunal will generally issue an order.
These orders record what happened at the hearing, and explain the decision that has been made.
From 11 February 2021, the Tribunal can order that the name and personal details of a successful party at a hearing be suppressed (removed from records). This is called a suppression order.
If your arrangement doesn't fall under Tenancy Tribunal jurisdiction
Section 5 of the Residential Tenancies Act(external link) explains all the different situations the Act doesn’t apply to. If your residential arrangement falls under Section 5, the Tribunal will not have jurisdiction to hear any disputes that may come up (unless the landlord and tenant have agreed that the Act (or parts of it) apply to their arrangement). If you’re not sure whether your residential arrangement is covered by the Act, you can apply to the Tribunal to have an adjudicator determine if they can hear your dispute.
Searching Tribunal orders
The Tenancy Tribunal deals with over 20,000 cases each year. You can search their decisions (called orders) on the Ministry of Justice website.
This site is one of many sources of information for landlords and tenants. It is not intended to provide an authoritative background check.
How to search for a Tenancy Tribunal order
You can search for an order using:
- the name of the landlord, tenant, or other party
- the address of the property
- the application number.
Not all orders are available to the public. This is usually for legal or technical reasons. Orders are available online for 36 months. You can also request paper copies from the District Court where the Tenancy Tribunal hearing was held for a small fee.
The Tribunal can also order mediation
Depending on the dispute, the Tenancy Tribunal may order both people to go back to mediation.
If someone doesn’t obey an order
If a tenant or landlord doesn’t do what they’ve been ordered to do by the Tenancy Tribunal, the order may be enforced. Orders are enforced through the Collections Unit of the Ministry of Justice.