Rights & Obligations

The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (RTA) is the law governing residential tenancies.   Here is a brief summary of the landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities.

The landlord MUST:

  • provide and maintain the house in a reasonable condition
  • meet all the building/health/safty standards
  • inform tenant when selling the property
  • hire an agent when landlords are out of country over 21 days
  • pay rates, land tax, insurance...etc
  • lodge any bond taken to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Bond Centre within 23 working days
  • Rent can only be increased once every 6 months with periodic agreement. (or has clearly adressed possible increase in the fixed-term agreement )
  • give 60 days written notice of a rent increase and 28 days notice for a boarding house 
  • give 48 Hours notice of inspection
  • give 24 Hours notice of entry to repair and/or entry for compliance with smoke alarms

The tenant MUST:

  • pay the rent on time
  • keep the house reasonably clean and tidy
  • tell the landlord as soon as possible of any damage or repairs needed — giving notices in writing will protect the tenant if it's suggested later that the landlord was not informed
  • pay the electricity, gas, phone bills
  • allow the landlord reasonable access
  • not interfere with the quiet enjoyment that landlords offer to other tenants

The landlord must NOT:

  • ask for more than 2 weeks in advance or ask for more rent before any rent paid is used up
  • inspect the Property more than once in 4 weeks
  • interfere with gas, water, or electricity supply
  • unreasonably withhold permission for a tenant to sublet or transfer the tenancy to someone else
  • unreasonably withhold permission for a tenant to attach any fixtures
  • change the locks without tenants' consent.

The tenant must NOT:

  • damage or permit damage to the house
  • disturb the neighbours or the landlord's other tenants
  • exceed any limit set by the landlord on the number of occupants in the house
  • make alterations to the house without the landlords written consent
  • sublet or transfer the tenancy to someone else without first getting the landlords written consent
  • change the locks without the landlords permission
  • stop paying rent if the landlord hasn't done the repairs

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)