Tenancy Tribunal Orders

If attempts to communicate tenancy issues with your landlord fail then seek proper tenancy advice to discuss what you can do next.
You may need to resolve the dispute with the help of the Tenancy Tribunal.
Applications to the Tenancy Tribunal

  • This is when you want a third party to help you resolve your dispute and have it recorded in a legally binding decision . You fill in an application by briefly saying what decision you want the Tenancy Tribunal Adjudicator to make.
  • All proceedings begin by making an application for an Order of the Tenancy Tribunal at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). You can take your application form to an MBIE office, fax it, or fill it in on their website.
  • Each application has a filing fee of $20.44. You can pay online by credit card, the offices take eftpos and credit cards, but not cash. If you are paying in cash you will need to take your application form to a Westpac Bank and they will stamp the form to confirm you have paid, and then you take, send or fax the form to MBIE.
  • The application is referred to a Tenancy Mediator who then attempts to bring disputing parties to an agreed settlement in Mediation. This is normally a face to face meeting, although sometimes one of the parties might participate over the phone. If either party refuses Mediation or it fails to result in an agreement, the application will be referred on to the Tenancy Tribunal where an adjudicator will decide what Order to make.
  • The parties to the dispute (the landlord and tenant) will receive notification of the Mediation or Tribunal hearing time and location.
  • If as a result of the mediation process the parties reach an agreed settlement, the Tenancy Mediator will record this as a Mediated Order. This is just as binding as a decision made by an Adjudicator at a Tenancy Tribunal hearing.
  • Sometimes, especially if your tenancy has already ended, you might receive a phone call from an MBIE Mediator asking if you would like try and reach a settlement over the phone. If you agree to anything over the phone you should receive a Mediated Order in the mail accurately recording your agreement. A Mediated Order is legally binding, so it is important that if you do not agree with anything in the Mediated Order you must contact MBIE immediately.
  • Everything in Mediation is confidential, including the Mediated Order. A Tenancy Tribunal hearing is public and so is the Order of the Tribunal which can be found on the Tenancy Tribunal website by searching for name or address.
  • If an agreed settlement is not reached, the Tenancy Mediator will report to the Tenancy Officer who will then refer the matter for determination by the Tenancy Tribunal.
  • Sometimes the Tenancy Tribunal Adjudicator may refer the application back to Mediation if during proceedings the Adjudicator is satisfied that the parties may be brought to an agreed settlement.
  • The Tenancy Tribunal procedure is less formal than Court. Each decision is based on the jurisdiction created within the Residential Tenancies Act, but the Adjudicator may also consider “the general principles of law relating to the matter and the substantial merits and justice of the case… not bound to give effect to strict legal rights or obligations or to legal forms or technicalities". Although less formal, the decision is legally binding and therefore should still be taken very seriously.
  • The Tenancy Tribunal decision and reasons for it are given in writing to both the parties together with written notice of the rights of appeal against the decision and any time limit on those rights. The decision might not be made at the end of the hearing, but be written up closely after and posted out to the parties. This is called a Reserved Decision.
  • If an Order of the Tribunal is not complied with, it may be enforced through the officers of the District Court or, in the case of a work order, by a further application to the Tenancy Tribunal. Take the Order of the Tenancy Tribunal to the Civil Office at the District Court to start this process.
  • Most Orders of the Tenancy Tribunal are final, however in some situations, there may be a rehearing or the case may go on appeal to the District Court, High Court or Court of Appeal. Also, the Tenancy Tribunal may state a case for the opinion of the High Court on any question as to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal or on any question of law arising in proceedings before it. However, subject to that opinion, the matter will still be resolved by the Tenancy Tribunal.

Always attend a Tenancy Tribunal hearing, if you made the application and don’t turn up it will be dismissed. If an application is against you and you don’t turn up, a decision will made without you and without considering your evidence.

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)