Landlords and tenants (including those in boarding houses) have important rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. 

Below lists your main rights and responsibilities under the Act when you rent a property in New Zealand. 

Copies of Your rights and responsibilities information sheets are also available in other languages below.

If you require a hard copy of this publication, please contact us.

Your key rights and responsibilities as a tenant or landlord

Landlord’s responsibilities

Landlord responsibilities are to:

  • provide and maintain the premises in a reasonable condition
  • allow the tenant quiet enjoyment of the premises
  • comply with all building, health and safety standards that apply to the premises
  • deal with any abandoned goods at the end of the tenancy in accordance with the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act
  • inform the tenant or prospective tenants if the property is on the market for sale
  • have an agent if they are out of New Zealand for more than 21 consecutive days.

Landlords must not:

  • seize the tenant’s goods for any reason
  • interfere with the supply of any services to the premises except where the interference is necessary to avoid danger to any person or to enable maintenance or repairs to be carried out

These and other landlord responsibilities are explained in detail in other parts of the website.

Additional rules and responsibilities apply to landlords in boarding house tenancies.

Tenant’s responsibilities

Tenant’s responsibilities are to:

  • pay the rent on time as per the tenancy agreement
  • keep the premises reasonably clean and tidy
  • notify the landlord as soon as any repairs are needed
  • use the premises principally for residential purposes
  • pay for outgoings they actually consume or use, such as: electricity, gas, telephone charges and metered water
  • notify the landlord as soon as possible if any damage occurs
  • leave the property clean and tidy, and clear of rubbish and possessions at the end of the tenancy
  • at the end of the tenancy, leave all keys and such things with the landlord. Leave all chattels supplied with the tenancy.

Tenants must not:

  • withhold rent if the landlord cannot get repairs done
  • damage or permit damage to the premises
  • disturb the neighbours or the landlord’s other tenants
  • alter or attach anything to the premises without the landlord’s written consent
  • use the property for any unlawful purpose
  • exceed the maximum number of occupants as stated in the tenancy agreement.

Additional rules and responsibilities apply to tenants in boarding house tenancies. 

Both parties

Additionally, both parties have responsibilities to:

  • make sure the tenancy agreement is in writing
  • keep their contact details up to date
  • not change the locks without the others permission
  • limit the chance of any further damage being done if the other party breaches the agreement.

If you are in a Unit Title property, you must follow the body corporate rules or changes. 

Other responsibilities

Starting a tenancy has information on what you have to do at the start of the tenancy.

Rent, Bond & bills talks about what you need to know when it comes to the rent, any bond that is required and who pays what bills.

Maintenance & inspections sets out who is responsible for fixing things around the property as well as how inspections take place and how the landlord can enter the property.

Ending the tenancy talks about how much notice needs to be given at the end of a tenancy.

Disputes has information on how to resolve a problem with the tenancy.

Forms and templates has copies of tenancy-related documents.

The Act also provides a disputes resolution service by allowing for mediation and hearings at the Tenancy Tribunal. You can read the Act by: