Enforcing an Order

When the Tenancy Tribunal makes an Order, it is expected that you comply. If you do not, the other party can ‘enforce it’ by taking the Order to the Court where it was issued.


The most common enforcements are for Possession (when the tenants is supposed to have left the tenancy and hasn’t - this is carried out by a bailiff) or Monetary (recovering money - eg rent arrears).


Possession Orders must be enforced by a bailiff from the Collections Unit, the landlord cannot personally remove the tenant, however they are present and also normally arrange for a locksmith to be there at the same time. If there is still tenant’s belongings at the property the landlord cannot throw any of it away without a disposal order.


For outstanding monetary orders, before enforcing a Disputes or Tenancy Tribunal Order it is suggested that you contact the other party to try and arrange payment in full or by instalments. The two most common ways of enforcement are by way of a Warrant to seize property or an financial assessment hearing. Bring the original copy of your Order to the District Court or contact the Collections Unit for the application forms. A current address for the debtor must be provided by you before any enforcement action can be taken. If the court is unable to locate the debtor, it is your responsibility to find a new address.


Distress Warrant

A Distress Warrant enables a Collection Officer to make a demand for the outstanding amount or seize goods indemnified by you. Indemnify means that you sign something to say that the goods being seized belong to you. Details of items that may not be seized can be obtained from the Collections Office at the District Court nearest you.


The filing fee for a Distress Warrant is $55 per defendant for a Tenancy Tribunal or Notice of Proceedings matter. In both cases $55.00 is added to the total amount outstanding. If there is a payment in a Disputes case the court will take the first $55 to cover costs. The balance is forwarded to you.


Order for Examination

This is an application to have the debtor brought before the court and examined as to their financial means, ie to see how much money they have to pay the debt. If the debtor has the means to pay, a court order will be made to determine how that money will be paid.


The filing fee for an Order for Examination is $90 per defendant for a Tenancy Tribunal or Notice of Proceedings matter, and must be paid before the Order is enforced. For a Disputes Tribunal Order the filing fee is added to the debt owing. A letter will be sent out to the debtor instructing them to come into the District Court at a certain date. If the debtor does not attend the hearing it may result in a Warrant to Arrest which will be carried out by a bailiff.


Attachment Order

An attachment order is a court order made at an Order for Examination hearing. It involves payments to be made directly from the debtor's wages, salary or benefit. The filing fee for an attachment order is $80 per defendant for a Tenancy Tribunal Order.


For further information on enforcing Tenancy Tribunal Orders, contact the Collections Unit at the District Court, or the Department of Building and Housing. They also have a ‘request for information’ form if you are having problems finding the debtor’s contact details to carry out the enforcement.

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)