The Act applies to every tenancy for residential purposes (renting a place to live in), except in certain cases. The Act protects landlords and tenants, but not flatmates.

A landlord is someone who provides a house for a tenant to live in, in exchange for rent.

Sometimes the landlord owns the house. Sometimes the landlord manages the rental of the house on behalf of the owner (for example, a property manager). A landlord can also be a trust, a company, or a public body (such as Housing New Zealand or a local city council).

The Act protects tenants

A tenant is someone who rents a house from a landlord.

Sometimes a few people rent a house and live together, so they all sign the tenancy agreement and become tenants together. This means they’re all responsible for the tenancy and for meeting their responsibilities under the Act.

If any of them aren’t named on the tenancy agreement as tenants, they’re flatmates, not tenants. This means they’re not covered by the Act.

Flatting has more about the expectations.

The Act covers boarding houses

Boarding houses are covered by the Act, but some special rules apply to boarding house tenancies.

Boarding houses has information about boarding house tenancies.

What the Act covers

The Act covers the relationship between landlords and tenants, outlines their rights and responsibilities, and provides a system for helping resolve tenancy disputes.

Key rights and responsibilities talks more about the expectations of landlords and tenants.
Disputes has more on sorting out issues in a tenancy.

The Act doesn’t cover some types of living arrangements

Some types of living arrangements, such as being a flatmate, are not covered by the Act.

Who tenancy law doesn’t protect has more about types of living arrangements that aren’t covered by the Act.