6 min read

Understanding and navigating your rental rights in New Zealand

Knowing what you are responsible for and what your landlord is and isn’t allowed to ask of you as a tenant will help you have a smoother, more enjoyable tenancy experience. We help answer the most common rental questions in New Zealand.
By · January 31, 2024
Understanding and navigating your rental rights in New Zealand

Moving companies services

Budget-friendly moving services. Trusted by thousands of customers. Door-to-Door delivery. Same Day service. Fixed Prices.
What are you moving?
Newshub Stuff SCOOP Yahoo!

Whether you’re moving into a flat for the first time or have been renting for a few years, it’s always a good idea to understand your rental rights. Rental rights can change over time as the government introduces new laws or repels old ones.

Knowing what you are responsible for and what your landlord is and isn’t allowed to ask of you as a tenant will help you have a smoother, more enjoyable tenancy experience.

We help answer the most common rental questions in New Zealand:

What are my rights when it comes to rent and bond?

One of the most stressful parts of being a renter is understanding your financial rights and obligations.

Rent

When it comes to rent, you are responsible for paying the rent on time on a regular schedule. In New Zealand, most tenants pay rent on a weekly basis rather than monthly.

Your landlord can only increase the rent once every 12 months and must give you at least 60 days' notice in writing of a rent increase.

How much rent you pay will depend on where you live in New Zealand. Auckland and Wellington have some of the highest rental markets in New Zealand. Choosing to live rurally, in outer city suburbs or smaller cities can help reduce the rent you will pay.

Bond

Most landlords will charge you a bond before you can move into the property.

A bond is money that you pay the landlord as security. If you damage the property or fail to pay all or some of the rent, the landlord has a right to use the bond to pay for fixing the property or covering costs related to the rent.

You will need to pay an agreed-upon amount in bond before moving into your chosen rental property. Your landlord needs to lodge this money with Tenancy Services and give you a receipt within 23 working days. Landlords are not allowed to hold onto this money themselves.

Letting Fees and Key Fees

Landlords are not allowed to charge letting fees;

If they do so, they are breaking the law. Letting fees are sometimes used to transfer the cost of extending or renewing a lease from the landlord onto the tenant. They are usually charged by Letting Agents and passed onto the tenant via the landlord. Since 2018, these fees have been illegal to pass on to tenants.

What are my rights when maintaining a property I rent?

Understanding who is responsible for maintaining the property isn’t always clear. Here are the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords when it comes to fixing and cleaning the property.

Maintenance

It is the landlord's responsibility to provide and keep a home in a reasonable state for tenants to live in.

This means they must respond to requests for maintenance. Such requests may include calling an electrician or plumber to the property or fixing broken fixtures like door handles, gutters and other features around the home.

Cleaning & General Upkeep

Tenants do have a responsibility to keep the home clean and tidy.

A clean, tidy home also helps to reduce the need for maintenance in the short term. The tenant is also responsible for alerting the landlord to any maintenance on the property. Tenants are responsible for replacing smoke alarm batteries, while landlords are responsible for ensuring smoke alarms are installed in your home.

Urgent Repairs

If you require something to be fixed urgently — let’s say, a broken window or leaking pipe under the sink — you can pay to get it fixed and ask your landlord to reimburse you. You must make a reasonable effort to tell them of the problem.

If you have spoken to your landlord about the repairs and they haven’t acted in a reasonable timeframe, you can also send them a 14-day notice to fix the problem. If they haven’t fixed the problem within that time, you can apply for a work order through the Tenancy Tribunal.

Paying rent while work is yet to be done

Tenants are required to pay rent even if there is maintenance to be done or if they are waiting to be reimbursed for maintenance. However, the Tenancy Tribunal can order a landlord to reduce your rent until work is complete or if work is overly disruptive.

What are my rights if I want to move out or am asked to move?

Sometimes, you may find you need to move out of a property before the end of your lease agreement. Here is how to navigate breaking or ending a lease.

Ending a lease

The laws around ending a lease are currently in a state of flux. In February 2024, the law states that tenants need to give four weeks' notice to leave a tenancy if on a periodic lease. However, the government are planning to reduce this to 21 days' notice. If you are on a fixed lease, you can only leave at the end of the period (usually 12 or 24 months) or if the landlord agrees to the breaking of the lease. Most landlords will charge a fee to break the lease mid-contract.

Being asked to move

Landlords can only ask tenants to move out if they plan on selling the property or moving into it themselves.

Currently, a landlord cannot ask you to move out so that a family member or someone they know can move in. Currently, landlords must give tenants three months' notice, however, the new government are planning on reducing this to 42 days if they want to move in and sell it. The government also plans to allow landlords to serve tenants with 90-day no-cause eviction notices. This law would mean landlords can evict tenants without giving a reason why.

How often can my landlord come around?

Inspections

Landlords must give 48 hours notice before coming around for a rental inspection.

Inspections can take place anytime between 8am and 7pm for rental properties and can happen no more than once every four week. The standard for rental inspections in New Zealand is anywhere from once every three months to once per year.

Maintenance

Landlords cannot enter your home without prior warning, even to do maintenance.

Your landlord must give a minimum of 24 hours notice before coming around. They also have to give 48 hours notice before testing for meth contamination. It should be noted that landlords don’t have to give notice to go onto the land of the property e.g. mowing lawns or outdoor maintenance. However, they should do so in a way that doesn’t interfere with your peace or privacy.

Moving companies services

Budget-friendly moving services. Trusted by thousands of customers. Door-to-Door delivery. Same Day service. Fixed Prices.
What are you moving?
Newshub Stuff SCOOP Yahoo!

What do our customers say?

Read reviews of Wise Move to learn stories from our customers.
$119
Renwick
Waikari
10
Kyle
Reviewed 34 minutes ago
Thanks so much for all your help
$220
Sun lounger
Ōmokoroa
Glendowie, Auckland
10
Louise
Reviewed 11 hours ago
Sam was great on the communication and delivered the sun lounger with care. Highly recommend him !!
$360
Motorcycle Ducati Panigale V2
Hilltop, Taupō
Hutt Central, Lower Hutt
10
Hamish
Reviewed 14 hours ago
Kane is a great guy and very professional, will definitely use him again 👌
$749
Riverhead
Huapai
10
Sakula
Reviewed 15 hours ago
We had the pleasure of Happy and Garry from classic movers help us with our big move and they made everything so easy! Great communication, punctual and took great care of our items. They were cheerful and positive and made what seemed like a huge task feel breezy. They knew exactly how to move even the trickiest of things and were clearly very experienced. Can’t recommend these guys enough, thank you very much you two! 😊
$1,425
4+ bedroom house move
Tauriko, Tauranga
Lower Kaimai
10
Hauwhenua
Reviewed 17 hours ago
The boys came two hours earlier and finished at 12 o’clock. Really stoked with how everything came out very communicative and would use them again. 10 stars overall great service. Cheers boys
$320
Flail Mower 1meter cut
Patutahi, Gisborne
Otaua
10
Rick
Reviewed 19 hours ago
Fast pickup , good communication, good price, fast delivery. Thanks.
$600
Auckland CBD, Auckland
Newtown, Wellington
10
Chelsea
Reviewed 19 hours ago
Great service nice and speedy
$240
Harvey Norman 5 seater Lounge suite
New Lynn, Auckland
Wainui
10
Stiaan
Reviewed 20 hours ago
Can highly recommend.

For every (wise)move

TradeMe purchase pickup and delivery service across NZ
TradeMe Delivery
Get your heavy-large TradeMe purchase picked up and delivered by our movers anywhere in NZ.
Learn more
Car transport nz
Car Transport
Our professional car transport teams from across New Zealand are the best at what they do.
Learn more
Motorbike transport nz
Motorcycle Transport
Our pros take everything into consideration when ensuring the safety and well-being of your bike.
Learn more
Piano transport
Piano Move
Moving a piano requires the expertise to ensure is kept safe and protected on the road.
Learn more
Furniture removals
Furniture Removals
Our teams will treat your possessions like they would their own, ensuring that the greatest care and diligence is taken.
Learn more
Pet transport nz
Pet Transport
During the transport our teams will ensure full care, well-being and friendliness as if they were our own.
Learn more
Boat transport nz
Boat Transport
Our transport teams will ensure your boats will be delivered safely, efficiently and on time.
Learn more