19 Apr 2018

Renting Property in New Zealand: What is a Tenancy Agreement?

Rental agreement and house key

To ensure that you obtain stable and legal tenancy in New Zealand, your tenancy agreement must be in writing. A tenancy agreement essentially spells out all your and your property owner’s responsibilities and rights to minimise the risk of misunderstandings in the future.

This is also to make certain that everything is in accordance with the law. However, even if you fail to put in writing the tenancy agreement, the “Residential Tenancies Act” would still apply. This would basically mean that all parties should still do what the law requires.

What should you see in the agreement

Your tenancy agreement should be signed by you and your property owner and should include, at the least, the following details:

  • Tenant and landlord’s full names and addresses, including mobile phone numbers and email addresses, if applicable.
  • Address of the rental property, perhaps that Stratford rental property you have been eyeing.
  • Date of the tenancy agreement signing.
  • Start date of the tenancy. In case the agreement is for a fixed term tenancy, the tenancy’s end date.
  • Tenant and landlord’s addresses for service.
  • Tenant’s age.
  • Bond amount.
  • The amount of rent and payment schedule.
  • Bank account details or place where tenant should send rent.
  • Related fees and solicitor or letting agent fees, etc.
  • List of chattels, including furniture and other fittings that the landlord provided.

Responsibilities of the landlord

It is likewise crucial to note that your landlord must disclose details regarding the insulation in the rental property’s walls, floors, or ceilings, as well as its specific types, locations, and condition. Do note though that insulation in walls is not a mandatory requirement under the law.

If your property owner is uncertain if the rental property has wall insulation or not, he or she must state this in the tenancy agreement.

Also, your landlord is prohibited from adding random conditions to the tenancy agreement, as all requirements included in the agreement should be compliant with the law. Should you have any issues or uncertainties regarding your tenancy agreement, it is best that you have a solicitor or letting agent look at it for you.

Otherwise, if you fully understand every term and condition in the agreement, then all that is left is to sign it.

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