A tenancy agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant. It sets out everything that a landlord and a tenant have agreed to about the tenancy.
Tenancy agreements must be in writing, and the landlord must give the tenant a copy before the tenancy starts. However, even if there is no formal agreement in writing, the Residential Tenancies Act still applies. Landlords and tenants can’t avoid their obligations by not putting their agreement in writing.
Tenants should read the tenancy agreement carefully before they sign it. This includes all the terms and conditions. If there’s anything they don’t understand, they should seek advice before they sign.
Tenancy agreement templates
We have a residential tenancy agreement and a boarding house tenancy agreement for landlords to use. Landlords can also draw up their own, as long as they include the minimum information required by the Act.
From 1 July 2019, landlords must include a separately signed statement in new, renewed or varied tenancy agreements. This statement confirms:
- that on and after the commencement of the tenancy, the landlord will comply with the healthy homes standards as required by either section 45(1)(bb) – residential tenancies, or section 66I(1)(bb) – boarding house tenancies, of the Residential Tenancies Act, or
- that the landlord already complies with the healthy homes standards as required by either section 45(1)(bb) – residential tenancies, or section 66I(1)(bb) – boarding house tenancies, of the Residential Tenancies Act.
Download the relevant healthy homes statement template to make sure you’re using the correct wording.
This statement is also included in our residential tenancy agreement template and our boarding house tenancy agreement template.
Note: Section 66(1)(bb) refers to boarding house tenancies and section 45(1)(bb) refers to all other tenancies.
In addition to the healthy homes standards statement, landlords must also provide a separately signed insulation statement in all new tenancy agreements.
Completing our insulation statement template will meet all the requirements for insulation disclosure under the Residential Tenancies Act.
Additional healthy homes requirements from 1 July 2020
In addition to the signed statement above, from 1 July 2020, all new or renewed tenancy agreements must include specific information about how the landlord complies or intends to comply with the healthy homes standards.
This isn’t required if the tenancy is a fixed term that ends before the healthy homes compliance date for the tenancy.
For more information on the 1 July 2020 additional requirements, please visit the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development website(external link).
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.
- An address 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.
- 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.
- A seperately signed insulation statement
- A seperately signed healthy homes statement.
Not providing this information or providing false or misleading information is an unlawful act. If the landlord has made all reasonable efforts to get the required information, but couldn’t, they must make a statement to this effect.
Who should be on the agreement
All tenancy agreements should include the full legal names of the landlord and tenants.
For a person: write their full legal name on the tenancy agreement. Landlords should check the tenant’s identity before they move in. You can download our pre-tenancy application form below.
For a company: write the legal company name. This might be different to the trading name or franchise holder name. For example, ‘Radley Design Ltd’ instead of ‘Joe Radley Design’.
For a trust: include the names of the trustees as well as the name of the trust. For example, Jane and Mary Brown as trustees for the Brown Family Trust.
If you have a property manager
If the property is managed by a property manager, write the names of both the owner and the property management company as landlord. For example, Smith Property Management as agent for Andrew Jones.
You can then record the property manager’s contact details as the landlord’s contact details.
If the owner isn’t on the agreement, the property manager takes on all the landlord’s responsibilities. They could be held responsible for:
- any Tenancy Tribunal work orders issued in favour of the tenant
- paying any monetary orders issued by the Tenancy Tribunal
- any actions or non-actions of the owner.
It also means the owner may not be able to apply for enforcement on a tribunal order.
Adding extra conditions
Landlords can’t just add any conditions they want to the tenancy agreement. Any extra conditions must comply with the law.
Sometimes, landlords and tenants may want to change an existing tenancy agreement, or renew it for a further period.
If this happens, you must record the change in writing. Both the landlord and all tenants need to sign it. This document can take any format, but it must include:
- what the change is
- when it takes effect
- landlords’ signature and date
- all tenants’ signatures and date.
Once signed, the landlord should give the tenant a copy. This should happen before the change takes effect. Both parties should attach this to their copy of the tenancy agreement.
Change of contact details
If your contact details change during the tenancy, you must give the other party your new contact details within 10 working days.
If we hold a bond for the tenancy, you must also let us know the new details within 10 working days.
Contact details include:
- phone number
- contact address
- email address
- address for service.
Agreements with flatmates
Agreements between tenants (and homeowners) and their flatmates aren’t covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. This means flatmates aren’t part of the tenancy agreement.
If you’re in this situation, you should still have a written record of what you’ve agreed to. You can use our flat-sharing agreement template for this.
Related tools and downloads
Residential tenancy agreement
For tenants & landlords
PDF 408 KB
Flat/house sharing agreement
PDF 24 KB
Flat/house sharing agreement
Word 42 KB
Boarding House Agreement
For tenants & landlords
PDF 222 KB
PDF 103 KB
Pre-tenancy application form
PDF 336 KB
Healthy homes standards statement - boarding house tenancies
PDF 800 KB
Healthy homes standards statement – residential tenancies
PDF 799 KB
Live in a boarding house? Know your rights! (English translation)
PDF 571 KB