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NZ Landlord Tenant Rights and Responsibilities -The Simple Way

May 1, 2024

Navigating New Zealand's rental market can be challenging, whether you're a new landlord learning the ropes or an experienced one looking to refresh your knowledge. In this blog we offer valuable insights into the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, making it easier to understand your role in the rental market.

Landlord Responsibilities:

Landlords in New Zealand have several key responsibilities to ensure their rental properties are safe, comfortable, and compliant with the law. Fulfilling these obligations not only contributes to a positive relationship with your tenants but also helps you avoid legal pitfalls. In this blog, we'll cover the key aspects of your rights and responsibilities as a landlord.

Provide a Safe and Functional Property:

As a landlord, it's crucial to offer tenants a living space that is both safe and practical. This means ensuring that your property is clean and well-maintained. Basic safety features like working locks on doors are non-negotiable. Additionally, providing adequate heating and ensuring smoke alarms are installed and functioning correctly are key steps to ensure a secure and comfortable environment for your tenants. By addressing these essentials, you create a space where tenants feel safe and at ease, encouraging a positive rental experience and reducing potential risks for everyone involved.

Maintenance and Repair:

Maintaining your investment and keeping on top of repairs will help you protect the property’s capital value and allow you to attract and retain quality tenants. Delaying repairs and maintenance to save money is a false economy as you’re only likely to attract unsatisfactory tenants, have longer vacancy times between tenants, and receive lower than market rent. Most maintenance jobs can be organised quickly and putting the time in now can save an ‘odd job’ from becoming a big job later on. Our experienced team of Property Managers can organise this for you.  Our landlords and tenants benefit from the excellent network of suppliers we have. These are long term trusted relationships with quality tradespeople, due to the volume of work we allocate them we can negotiate competitive pricing and often our jobs are given priority.

Waste Management:

Provide rubbish and recycling bins provided by the local councils for your tenants.

Meet Healthy Homes Standards: Ensuring your Home meets the Healthy Homes standard:

From 1st July 2025, all rental properties must comply with all the Healthy Homes standard. All new or renewed tenancies must comply within 120 days of the tenancy starting.

Changes to the law can be confusing and stressful. Regulations around residential tenancies have been a real area of our focus over the last two years, ensuring you are Healthy Homes Compliant as well as ensuring you understand other areas of law such as the Privacy Act.

Ensuring your property meets all the required healthy homes regulations and complies with the Residential Tenancy Act is vital, there is heavy penalties for non-compliance.

At The Rent Shop we are committed to provide quality housing to benefit both Landlords and tenants. Warm, drier homes are less likely to have issues with mould or mildew damage, better protecting your investment in the long term. Tenants will be happier in a warm drier home too- and in our experience, happy tenants lead to higher, more consistent income from your rental property and lower associated costs with turnover. A healthy well heated home is a big draw card for any prospective tenant.

We offer a fully comprehensive healthy homes assessment as part of our property management service from the assessment to completing the work that is required to bring it in line with the new standards.

Our Property Managers receive regular training on the multiple areas of law applicable for landlords and can help provide the processes and guidance to ensure you meet all of your legal obligations.

Rent, Bond, and Expenses:

Maintain proper rent records and issue receipts, especially for cash payments. Notify tenants in writing before increasing rent. For bonds, you can collect up to four weeks' rent as security and must lodge it with Tenancy Services within 23 working days.

Respect Tenants' Privacy and Quiet enjoyment:

As a landlord, one of your key responsibilities is to provide your tenants with a peaceful and quiet living environment.

It's important to respect your tenants' privacy. This includes giving them advance notice before entering the property, whether for inspections, repairs, or other reasons. If you need to sell the property or arrange viewings, communicate this to your tenants well in advance and ensure they are comfortable with the arrangements. Entering the premises without permission is a breach of trust and can lead to serious legal consequences. Always ensure that essential services like electricity, water, and heating are maintained, as these are crucial for your tenants' comfort and safety.

Being a landlord involves more than just owning a property. It requires creating a positive living environment for your tenants, which can be challenging to manage on your own. This is where a property manager can be invaluable. At The Rent Shop, our team can act as the intermediary between you and your tenants, facilitating smooth communication, handling maintenance requests, and addressing any concerns. This allows you to focus on expanding your investment portfolio without the stress of day-to-day property management.

Understanding Your Rights as a New Zealand Landlord

As a landlord in New Zealand, you have several important rights that allow you to manage your property effectively and protect your investment. These rights ensure that you can maintain control over your property while respecting the needs of your tenants. Here is a breakdown of some key rights you should be aware of:

  • Entry to the Property: You have the right to enter your rental property, but it's crucial to respect your tenants' privacy. Generally, you need to provide at least 48 hours' notice before entering for inspections or repairs. In emergencies, you can enter without prior notice, but such situations should be rare and justified.
  • Collecting Rent: As a landlord, you are entitled to receive rent on time according to the terms of your lease agreement. This is a fundamental right that ensures you can maintain cash flow and cover expenses related to your property.
  • Vacate Property Inspections: When a tenancy ends, you have the right to inspect the property to assess its condition. This helps you determine whether the tenant has caused any damage beyond normal wear and tear and whether they have complied with the lease terms.
  • Bond Deductions: You can deduct from the bond if a tenant has caused damage or has unpaid rent. The bond acts as a security deposit to cover such issues, but any deductions must be reasonable and based on documented evidence and agreed by the tenant.

Managing these rights effectively can be challenging, which is why many landlords turn to property management companies for assistance. At The Rent Shop, we specialise in ensuring that your rights as a landlord are upheld while maintaining a positive relationship with your tenants. We handle everything from rent collection to property inspections and ensure that any bond deductions are fair and justified.

With The Rent Shop by your side, you can focus on growing your property portfolio while we take care of the day-to-day management. Our team ensures that your landlord journey is smooth and that your rights are protected throughout the rental process. If you need assistance managing your properties or have questions about your rights as a landlord, get in touch with us today.

Tenant Responsibilities

If you are a landlord, its crucial to understand what your tenants are responsible for. At its core, a tenant’s main obligation is to pay rent promptly and maintain the rented property in good condition. However, there are additional aspects to consider in ensuring a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship. Let's explore these responsibilities to gain an understanding of what is expected from tenants.

  • They pay rent on time. The rent cannot be withheld if the Landlord has not done repairs.
  • Ensure the property is mainly used for residential purposes only and not engaging in illegal activities.
  • Keep the property clean and tidy. During their tenancy, they must avoid damaging the property.
  • Notify Landlord of repairs and maintenance promptly
  • Maintain smoke alarms in working order and avoid tampering with smoke alarms.
  • Responsible for their own utilities including power, gas, water usage and telephone/internet charges unless it’s all included in the rent by mutual agreement.
  • Report damages and maintenance repairs promptly.
  • Complete required cleaning at the end of the tenancy.
  • Respecting neighbours avoiding excessive noise and disturbances.
  • Exceeding occupancy limits.
  • Altering locks or making unauthorised changes.

Tenant Rights

Tenants have several rights protected by New Zealand law. As a landlord its vital to understand that tenants are entitled to a peaceful and quiet enjoyment living environment. If conflicts or disagreements occur, tenants have the right to seek resolution to the Tenancy Tribunal, which provides a fair and impartial process to address issues. The rights of New Zealand tenants are designed to create a rental landscape that is fair and equitable, fostering a sense of security for all parties involved. By respecting these rights, landlords contribute to a positive rental experience, which often translates into longer-term tenants and fewer disputes. Happy tenants are likely to take better care of your property and have a longer tenure, leading to a more stable rental income. These encompass several key areas:

Healthy Homes Standards: The property must meet certain standards for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress, drainage, and draught stopping. contributing to a healthy & warm living environment.  

Repairs and Maintenace: Tenants have the right to request repairs for issues that affect their safety or comfort. Landlords must address these requests promptly.

Rent Adjustments/Increases: Tenants should be informed 60 days in advance of any rent increases, and this can only be legally conducted every 12 months from the start of the tenancy and can only be conducted once every 12 months.

Bond Handling: Bonds must be lodged with Tenancy Services within 23 days of the bond being paid, providing an added layer of protection for tenants.

Property Inspections: Inspections must be done with notice and not be excessive.

Tenancy Services: Tenancy Services is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment. Their role is to:

  • provide information and resources to help tenants and landlords understand their rights and responsibilities.
  • provide services for resolving disputes, including mediation, and coordinating with the Tenancy Tribunal to schedule hearings.
  • receive and hold bond money in trust.
  • monitor and enforce compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) and associated regulations.

For more detailed information on your rights and responsibilities as a landlord or Tenant, visit

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of being a landlord, let The Rent Shop take the reins. We provide comprehensive property management services, ensuring smooth communication, prompt maintenance, and efficient dispute resolution. This way, you can focus on expanding your investment portfolio while we take care of the day-to-day management.

Ready to take the next step? Contact our Business Development Team on 09 555-9100, and let's unlock the full potential of your property!

Sharon Bradley
General Manager of Licensees/Training