Problems with your landlord: What you can do
Getting information about your rights
If you have a dispute with your landlord, you can get information and a free mediation service from Tenancy Services, which is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
Early on, you should try to solve the problem by talking it through with your landlord directly. But before you do that, contact Tenancy Services to find out exactly what your legal rights and obligations are. You can phone their free advice line – 0800 TENANCY (0800 83 62 62).
If talking to your landlord doesn’t solve the problem, you can take it to mediation through Tenancy Services. There’ll be a meeting where a mediator will help you and your landlord try to agree on a solution.
If mediation doesn’t work, Tenancy Services can give notice to your landlord to solve the problem, according to the rules under your tenancy agreement or the Act.
If Tenancy Services can’t help, you can take the dispute to the Tenancy Tribunal – basically a specialist tenancy court – for it to decide the outcome.
Note: If you’re flatting with the tenant or the owner, you can’t use the Tenancy Tribunal to settle disputes with them. Instead you may be able to use the Disputes Tribunal (see the chapter “The Disputes Tribunal”).
FastTrack is a service provided by Tenancy Services to help landlords and tenants formalise an agreement that they’ve reached after a dispute – for example an agreement about payment of rent arrears.
A FastTrack agreement is written up as a mediation order. The mediator will call both sides to make sure they understand the agreement, and then the order is sent to the Tenancy Tribunal to be “sealed”, which makes it a legally binding court order.