It’s very important for landlords and tenants to keep accurate records about the tenancy.
- Keeping records can help you clear up any issues, either during or at the end of the tenancy. Records can include: the tenancy agreement and any variations or renewals of it
- any property inspection reports
- rent, receipts and records
- water bills
- invoices or records for any work carried out at the property, such as maintenance or cleaning
- copies of letters or emails sent to or received from the other person.
You should also keep contact details – such as phone numbers or email addresses – up to date, and share any changes with each other during the tenancy. You also need to inform us of any changes to make sure the bond record is up to date and correct.
Record details of your communication with the other person. For example, make a diary note when rent is paid or received, or repairs or maintenance are discussed.
Keeping accurate records can also help if you have a dispute and need to provide evidence.
Example of how to record information
Monday, 1 January
Called property manager to tell them the stove element wasn’t working. Spoke to John Smith who told me he’d mark it in his repairs/maintenance log.
Thursday, 4 January
Still haven't been contacted about the stove element that needs repairing. Called Tenancy Services to check on the process for repairs. The Ministry told me I could issue a notice to remedy.
Friday, 5 January
Downloaded the 14-day Notice to remedy from the www.tenancy.govt.nz website, filled it in and dropped it into the property manager's office at 2.45pm.
Monday, 8 January
Property manager called to say he’s arranged for both him and a repairman to come round during the day to fix the stove element.
Landlords must keep general records
Landlords must keep copies of all documents relating to the rental home. These records must be kept during the tenancy and for 12 months after the tenancy ends. It’s a good idea for tenants to do the same.
Specific documents must be provided if requested by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, under the Residential Tenancies Act.
Landlords must keep rent and bond records for 7 years after the tax year to which they relate.
If landlords apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to collect overdue rent, they should bring rent records, bank statements and rent books from the start of the tenancy to their hearing.
Download our spreadsheet below for an example of how to record rent payments.
Landlords must also keep records of all documents that show how they are complying with the healthy homes standards.
Relevant documents could include:
- Code compliance certificate
- Records of calculations of a living room’s required heating capacity, including a printout from the heating assessment tool
- Certificate of acceptance
- Receipts and invoices from builders or tradespeople
- Receipts for any building materials and/or elements.
- Photographic evidence of compliance.
- Records of work from building practitioners or Independently Qualified Persons.
- A professional evaluation performed by a Licenced Building Practitioner, Independent Qualified Person or any other relevant professional.
- A Building Warrant of Fitness or Compliance Schedule, where the extractor fans are part of a larger ventilation system and the ventilation system is a specified system
- Land Information Memorandum (LIM) or Building information reports or part of these reports that reasonably shows compliance.
- Product manuals/schedules for devices installed for the purpose of compliance with the standards.
- Any other documents/records that will reasonably show compliance.
These records must be able to be provided on request, for example by the Tenancy Tribunal, or the Tenancy Compliance and Investigations team. Landlords are committing an unlawful act if they don’t supply the records, and don’t have a reasonable excuse, within 10 working days of the request.
Tenants should keep records
The tenant should keep their own records for the rent they’ve paid. Bank statements are one way to do this but it’s also good to keep a rent summary spreadsheet.
If the tenant pays rent with cash or by cheque, the rent book is usually their receipt.
The tenant should keep the rent book or other records for a reasonable time after the tenancy ends.
A landlord must give a written receipt for rent when there is no other record available to the tenant. For example, if the tenant pays in cash. Receipts must be given:
- immediately, if rent is paid in cash
- within 72 hours, if rent isn’t paid in cash.
A receipt is not legally required when the rent is paid:
- from a tenant’s bank account by automatic payment
- by non-negotiable personal cheque from the tenant’s bank account
- into the landlord's account, if the account is only used for the tenancy (and any of the landlord's other tenancies)
- automatically from the tenant’s pay or benefit into the landlord’s bank account.
It’s a good idea to give a receipt for all payments, even if it’s not required by law.
Rent receipts should include the following information:
- the address of the rented property, or some other way to identify it (such as a reference number)
- the amount of money received and what it’s for
- the period the rent covers
- the day the rent was paid
- the name of the person who paid the rent
- the signature of the landlord or the person who received the rent.
Statement of rent
The landlord must give a written statement of rent if the tenant asks for it in writing. The statement must cover the period the tenant asks for.