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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 Resolution

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.

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Tenancy and housing

Where to go for more support

Community Law

www.communitylaw.org.nz

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)

www.tenancy.govt.nz 

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:
www.tenancy.govt.nz/disputes/Tribunal/making-an-application

Tenants Protection Associations

www.tpa.org.nz

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

www.cab.org.nz

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)

www.kaingaora.govt.nz

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

www.msd.govt.nz

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

www.chra.hud.govt.nz

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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