Sometimes during a tenancy the landlord changes and a new landlord takes over. This could be because a different property management company takes over the tenancy, the landlord goes overseas, or the rental property is sold.
Whenever this happens, and if a bond is held by Tenancy Services, you must complete and send us a change of landlord form.
When the property management company changes
When the owner of a rental property uses a property management company, the company is considered the landlord. When the company changes, this is considered a change of landlord.
When there’s a change of landlord, the current landlord must give the tenant written notice of the change. The notice says who’ll be taking over as landlord, what the new landlord’s contact details are, and when they’ll become the new landlord. From the date specified in the letter, the tenant must pay their rent to the new landlord.
The new landlord must give the tenant their name and contact details, address for service, and details on how the tenant is to pay the rent to them (for example, the new bank account number).
Address for service tells you what information you need to provide.
This process also applies when the owner’s been managing the tenancy themselves and then, during the tenancy, decides to employ a property manager to take over.
When the landlord goes overseas
If the landlord is going out of New Zealand for more than 21 days in a row, they must appoint an agent in New Zealand to manage their property while they’re overseas. They must do this before they leave. The agent can be anyone the landlord chooses – it doesn’t have to be a professional property management company.
The landlord must give the tenant the details of their agent, including their agent’s name and contact details, and address for service.
It’s unlawful if a landlord doesn’t appoint an agent or doesn’t provide the tenant with their agent’s details. If a landlord doesn’t do this, the tenant can give the landlord a notice to remedy. This notice gives the landlord a deadline to appoint an agent or to provide them with the agent’s details in New Zealand.
If a landlord doesn’t comply with a notice to remedy, the tenant can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to sort the matter out.
Breaches of the Act has information about what a notice to remedy is and how to use one.
Repairs and damages explains what the tenant can do if the landlord hasn’t appointed an agent and urgent repairs are needed.
When the property is sold
The landlord can also change during a tenancy if the property is sold.
Sale of a house tells you about the rights and responsibilities of each party when the property is sold.
The bond record must be updated when the landlord changes
Whenever there’s a change to the landlord, the landlord’s name needs to be updated on the bond record. This applies even if the landlord’s going away temporarily (for 21 days or more) and appoints an agent while they’re away.
To update the bond record, fill in a change of landlord/agent form.