Renting Law

The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (RTA)

The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (RTA) is like the ‘road rules’ of renting. The Act sets out all sorts of rules that the landlord and tenant must stick to.

The RTA is very detailed and includes things like:

  • Tenancy agreements
  • Bonds and rents
  • Rights and obligations
  • How much notice to give
  • Ending tenancies and evictions
  • The jurisdiction of the Tenancy Tribunal
  • Inspections and maintenance requirements


Some tenants are not covered by any tenancy law

Tenants in certain renting situations are not covered or protected by the RTA. For example a student hostel, a caravan park, living with the landlord in their house or when the landlord is a member of your family.  If you are in this type of living arrangement you will need to create your own contract with the people you pay your rent to.

You should talk to the person in charge of the accommodation about how much notice is needed to move out and all those other things that are important to know.   If you can get these agreements in writing it may stop future mix ups and gives you a reminder and proof of what was agreed to at the beginning.

Some boarding and bedsit situations are still covered by the RTA, and in October 2010 Boarding Houses became covered by the RTA, but with some differences from other tenancies for example there are different notice periods to move out and there will also be House Rules.

If you are not signed on the tenancy agreement you are normally not covered by the RTA - it is important to seek advice if you are not sure.

Contact Details

Tenants Protection Association (ChCh) Inc
Te Tōpū Tiaki-ā-Kainoho
Room 3, 301 Tuam Street, Christchurch 8011
Ph.(03) 379-2297

info [at] tpa [dot] org [dot] nz (subject: Enquiry%20from%20Website)