In a service tenancy, an employer provides acommodation for a worker to live in during their employment.  

All service tenancies need a written tenancy agreement. Even if the tenant doesn’t pay rent, it’s still a service tenancy.

The tenancy agreement can sometimes be part of the employment contract; but it’s better if they’re separate.

Residential tenancy agreement template

The Residential Tenancies Act covers service tenancies. All the standard rules apply, except for a couple of differences.

Rent can deducted from the tenant’s wages

The landlord may take the rent directly from the tenant’s pay each week or fortnight. They can only do this if:

  • the tenant agrees;
  • it is in the employment contract; or
  • it complies with employment law.

If there is a longer pay period (eg, due to a holiday) the landlord can deduct the rent for that same longer period.

Ending a service tenancy

A service tenancy normally ends when the tenant’s employment ends. The notice period is different to other tenancies.

Giving notice to end a service tenancy

Other legal obligations

Employee rights (Employment New Zealand)(external link)

Safe working environments (Worksafe)(external link)

Worker accommodation (Worksafe)(external link)

 

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