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Rent, bond and other costs


Are landlords allowed to ask for people to “bid” for a flat?

Residential Tenancies Act 1986, ss 22F, 22G

No. Landlords have to include the amount of rent when they advertise and they can’t encourage you to “bid” for the flat by offering to pay more than that.

How much rent in advance can a landlord ask for?

Residential Tenancies Act 1986, s 23

Your landlord can ask you for no more than two weeks’ rent in advance.

Does the landlord have to give me receipts for rent?

Residential Tenancies Act 1986, ss 29, 30

This depends on how you pay your rent. They have to give you a receipt, and give it to you immediately, if there’s no other record – for example, if you pay by cash.

The landlord doesn’t have to give you receipts if you pay by automatic bank payment, by deposits into a bank account they use only for payments from their tenants, by deductions from your pay or a benefit that go into your landlord’s account.

If you ask for it, the landlord must give you a written statement of your rent payments showing the period that a payment relates to, so that you know exactly what dates your rent covers. All landlords have to keep proper business records showing all rent and bond payments.

When and how often can my rent be increased?

Residential Tenancies Act 1986, ss 24, 28–28B, 66(3)

Your landlord can increase your rent no more than once every 12 months. They have to give you 60 days’ advance notice (two months) of any rent increase, and this has to be in writing.
With a fixed-term tenancy, your landlord can only increase the rent if your agreement allows it. If the increase is substantial and will cause you “serious hardship,” and you couldn’t reasonably have foreseen that the increase would be that much, you can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to end the tenancy.

If your landlord does a rent review each year, they have to include details of the annual review in your tenancy agreement or tell you about it before the tenancy starts. If the rent goes up, they have to give you 60 days’ notice, and the increase will take effect on the date each year that’s set in the agreement or from the next rent payment date after that set date.

Your landlord can apply to the Tribunal to increase the rent if they’ve made significant improvements with your permission, or if they’ve had unexpected costs to do with the property.

Getting your rent reviewed if it’s higher than other rents

Residential Tenancies Act 1986, ss 25, 26

If your rent is substantially higher than the rents of similar properties in similar areas, you can go to the Tenancy Tribunal to ask it to reduce your rent to a “market rent” (to find out what the market rent is for your area or suburb, go to:

If the Tribunal does order your landlord to lower your rent, the rent will usually be fixed at that level for six months (see: “Problems with your landlord: What you can do”).

What happens if I get behind in my rent?

Residential Tenancies Act 1986, ss 55, 56, 77(2)(L)

As soon as you’re overdue in your rent – even if just by one day – your landlord can give you a written notice telling you to pay the overdue amount within a minimum of two weeks (14 days).

If you don’t pay it by the set time, your landlord can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for it to order you to pay the overdue rent. Sometimes they can also ask the Tribunal to end the tenancy and order you to move out with what’s known as a “termination order” (see: “Moving out: When and how tenancies end”).

Your landlord can’t take any of your things in place of the unpaid rent, or for any other reason.

Next Section | Other fees and costs

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Tenancy and housing

Where to go for more support

Community Law

Your local Community Law Centre can provide you with free initial legal advice.

Find your local Community Law Centre online:

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: 0800 83 62 62 (0800 TENANCY). Free translation services are available.
Bond enquiries: 0800 737 666. Free translation services are available.

Ministry of Social Development – Work and Income (WINZ)

Work and Income assess eligibility for social housing provided by Kāinga Ora and other registered community housing providers. WINZ also calculates income-related rent for social housing and conducts tenancy reviews.

Phone: 0800 559 009

Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand)

Kāinga Ora manages New Zealand’s public housing and places people in public homes.  Kāinga Ora’s website provides information for existing and prospective tenants.

Phone: 0800 801 601
Office locations:
When to contact Kāinga Ora vs Work and Income resource:

Note: to apply for a Kāinga Ora home, you need to contact Work and Income – “Ministry of Social Development – Work and Income (WINZ)” above.

Tenancy Tribunal

The Tenancy Tribunal can help you if you have an issue with a tenant or landlord that you can’t solve yourself. The Tribunal will hear both sides of the argument and can issue an order that is legally binding.

Information on how to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal:

Aratohu Tenant Advocacy

The Aratohu Tenant Advocacy is a comprehensive online resource that provides support and guidance to tenants and their advocates.


Tenants Protection Association Auckland (TPA)

The Tenants Protection Association provides advocacy and support to renters in Auckland.

Phone: 09 360 1473

Manawatū Tenants’ Union

The Manawatū Tenants’ Union provides advocacy and support to renters in the Manawatū region.

Phone: 06 357 7435

Renters United

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

Online contact form:

Community Housing Regulatory Authority

The Community Housing Regulatory Authority registers and regulates community housing providers.

Phone: 0800 141 411

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

CAB provides free, confidential and independent information and advice.  See CAB’s website for valuable information on a range of topics.

Phone: 0800 367 222

Find your local CAB office:

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