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Boarding houses: Renting a room

Ending a boarding house tenancy

How much notice do I have to give when I move out?

Residential Tenancies Act 1986, s 66V

You can end your boarding house tenancy by giving just 48 hours’ notice. It doesn’t have to be in writing, and you don’t have to give any reasons.

Note: If there’s an end date written into a boarding house tenancy agreement, some landlords will argue that the tenant has to stay and pay rent until that end date. The law isn’t absolutely clear on this, so consider getting more advice from 0800 TENANCY or from a Community Law Centre.

How much notice does a boarding house landlord have to give?

Residential Tenancies Act 1986, ss 66U, 66X

Your boarding house landlord can usually end the tenancy by giving you four weeks’ notice (28 days), without giving any reasons. This has to be in writing.

But legally they can give you just two days’ notice (48 hours) if you still owe rent 10 days after you got a written overdue rent notice from the landlord. They can also give you just two days’ notice (48 hours) if you’ve used your room for something illegal.

They can end the tenancy immediately if you’ve caused or threatened serious damage or serious disruption to the other tenants, or if you’re a danger to people or property.

If you’ve been given less than the usual four weeks’ notice and you don’t think this is justified, you can complain to the Tenancy Tribunal.

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Tenancy and housing

Where to go for more support

Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and can help you make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal.

Tenancy Services – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)


MBIE‘s Tenancy Services section provides information to tenants and to landlords. It also provides dispute-resolution services.

Tenancy advice line

Phone: 0800 83 62 62 (0800 TENANCY). Free translation services are available.

Bond enquiries

Phone: 0800 737 666. Free translation services are available.

Information and forms

Tenancy Services provides information and various forms online or you can order forms by phoning 0800 83 62 62 (0800 TENANC)

Applying to the Tenancy Tribunal

You can apply online, or you can get a paper copy of the form from a Tenancy Services office. The application processes are explained at:

Tenants Protection Associations


Some cities have Tenants Protection Associations:

Christchurch – (03) 379 2297,

Auckland – (09) 360 1473

Renters United

www.rentersunited.org.nz (in Wellington only)

Renters United is an organisation for renters in Wellington. They focus on organising renters and campaigning to make renting better for everyone.

Manawatu Tenants Union

Manawatu Tenants Union provides advocacy and support for renters in the Manawatu region

Phone: 06 357 7435

Email: info@mtu.org.nz

Citizens Advice Bureau


Phone (0800 FOR CAB) 0800 367 222

Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for information about what local tenancy services are available to you.

Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand)


Kāinga Ora, which manages the state housing stock in New Zealand, has a range of information on its website.

Phone: 0800 801 601

Ministry of Social Development


The Ministry of Social Development assesses eligibility for the social housing provided by Housing New Zealand and registered community housing providers. MSD also calculates income-related rent for social housing and conducts tenancy reviews.

MSD‘s social housing staff can be contacted through Work and Income offices:

Phone Work and Income on 0800 559 009 or, if you’re 65 or older, contact Senior Services on 0800 552 002.

Community Housing Regulatory Authority


Phone: (04) 896 5908

Email: CHRA@hud.govt.nz

The Authority approves and registers community housing providers and monitors registered providers. You can read the register of approved providers on the Authority’s website.

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