A tenancy agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant. It records all the key things that a landlord and a tenant have agreed to about the tenancy.
Tenancy agreements must be in writing
Every tenancy agreement must be in writing, and the landlord must give the tenant a copy before the tenancy begins. However, the Residential Tenancies Act applies even if a tenancy agreement isn’t in writing. This means a landlord and a tenant can’t avoid their obligations under the law by refusing to put their agreement in writing.
Tenants should make sure they read the tenancy agreement carefully before they sign it, so they understand all the terms and conditions of the tenancy. If there’s anything they don’t understand, or are unsure of, they should seek advice before they sign the agreement.
Tenancy agreement templates
We have a residential tenancy agreement and a boarding house tenancy agreement that landlords can use. They can also choose to draw up their own (as long as they include the minimum information).
Property inspection report
Our residential tenancy agreement includes a property inspection report.
Read more on Initial property inspections which explains the importance of doing a property inspection at the beginning of the tenancy.
Minimum contents of a tenancy agreement
Every tenancy agreement must include the following minimum information:
- The full names and contact addresses of the landlord and tenant (including contact email address and mobile telephone number, if they have them).
- The address of the property that’s being rented.
- The date the tenancy agreement is signed.
- The date the tenancy is to begin.
- Addresses for service for both the landlord and the tenant.
- Whether the tenant is under the age of 18.
- The amount of any bond.
- The rent amount and frequency of payments.
- The place or bank account number where the rent is to be paid.
- Any fees (for a letting agent or solicitor) to be paid (if applicable).
- A list of any chattels (like furniture, curtains and other fittings) provided by the landlord.
- If the tenancy is a fixed-term tenancy, the date the tenancy will end.
- Landlords are required to disclose in the Tenancy Agreement for any tenancy commencing after 1 July 2016, information about insulation installed in the ceilings, floors, or walls together with details of the location, type, and condition of all insulation (note that wall insulation is not a compulsory requirement and if a landlord is unsure whether or not the property contains wall insulation, they can state “no known”).
Failure to provide this information or providing false or misleading information is an unlawful act. However, where the landlord has made all reasonable efforts to obtain the required information, but was unable to do so, the landlord must make a statement to this effect.
Boarding houses have additional minimum information needed. Boarding house tenancy agreements has more information about this.
Adding extra conditions to the tenancy agreement
Landlords can’t add just any conditions they feel like to the tenancy agreement . All extra conditions added to a tenancy agreement must comply with the law.
Adding conditions to the tenancy agreement has more information about extra conditions that can be added to tenancy agreements.
Change of contact details
If your contact details in the tenancy agreement change during the tenancy, you must provide the other party with your new contact details within 10 working days.
If the bond is held with us, you must also inform us of any change to your contact details within 10 working days.
Contact details are things such as a phone number, contact address, email address or address for service.
Go to 'Contact us' if you would like specific advice or have a question.
Agreements with flatmates are not part of the tenancy agreement
Agreements between tenants and their flatmates (and between homeowners and their flatmates) aren’t covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. This means flatmates aren’t part of the tenancy agreement.
However, both parties may find it useful to have a written record of what they’ve agreed to. We have a flat-sharing agreement that tenants and homeowners can use with their flatmates if they wish.
Our information on Flatting explains about the differences between tenants and flatmates.