Tenants, landlords and flatmates have different rights and responsibilities when renting a home or boarding house room.
If you're renting, or a landlord, find out about the rent freeze and tenancy terminations during COVID-19.
- If you’ve been affected by COVID-19, Inland Revenue or Work and Income may be able to help.
- If you’re a business, employee or have lost your job, use the online tool to find out what financial support you could access.
What you need to know before you rent
Find the right place for you, sign a tenancy agreement, pay your bond and inspect the property with your landlord before you move in.
What you have to do when you’re renting
When you rent you must:
- pay your rent on time
- keep the place clean
- tell the landlord straight away if something needs to be fixed
- be a good neighbour
- make sure the number of people living in the property isn’t more than you’ve agreed with the landlord.
Tenants and flatmates have different rights
When you sign a tenancy agreement, you’re a tenant. If you haven’t signed a tenancy agreement, you’re a flatmate. Tenants and flatmates have different rights and responsibilities.
What your landlord has to do
Your landlord must:
- make sure the property is clean and tidy before you move in
- make sure the property is safe to live in and complies with all the laws that apply to it
- tell you at least 60 days before putting the rent up
- give you 48 hours notice that they’re going to do an inspection
- give you 24 hours notice if they’re coming to fix something
- ask your permission if they want to come in for any other reason
- give you 90 days written notice to end your tenancy — unless they’re selling the house or it’ll be used by their family, in which case it’s 42 days. However, if you’re on a fixed-term tenancy, notice can’t be given to end the tenancy, before it expires.
Selling a rental property
If a landlord wants to sell their rental property, they must tell you in writing. Landlords must get your permission to access the property to take photos, and to show potential buyers through the property.
The landlord must tell you who the new owner is and when they’ll take over. The landlord should also provide the new owner with a copy of the tenancy agreement.
The healthy homes standards
By 1 July 2024, all rental homes must comply with the healthy homes standards (HHS). This means rental homes must have:
- a fixed heater that can heat the main living room to 18°C
- ceiling and underfloor insulation where reasonably practicable
- kitchens and bathrooms installed with extraction fans
- windows and doors that open to the outside
- adequate guttering and drainage
- draught stopping
- on-ground moisture barriers for enclosed subfloor spaces.
Timeframe for healthy homes standards compliance
From 1 July 2019
All landlords must:
- install ceiling and underfloor insulation where reasonably practicable
- sign a statement of intent to comply with HHS in new, varied or renewed tenancy agreements
- records of all documents that show how they are complying with HHS.
From 1 July 2020
Landlords must include a statement of their current level of compliance with HHS in any new, varied or renewed tenancy agreement.
From 1 July 2021
- Private landlords must make sure their rental properties comply with HHS within 90 days of all new and renewed tenancies.
- All boarding houses (except Housing New Zealand homes and Community Housing Provider boarding house tenancies) must comply with HHS.
From 1 July 2023
Housing New Zealand homes and Community Housing Provider boarding house tenancies must comply with HHS.
From 1 July 2024
All rental homes must comply with HHS.
Solving problems with your landlord
If there’s a problem, talk to your landlord first. If this doesn’t work, you can go to mediation or to the Tenancy Tribunal.