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What are some of my rights?

As a tenant, or someone who is renting from a landlord, you have a number of rights to help protect you from being exploited or treated badly. These cover a range of things, from the state of the property to the quality of communication you can expect from your landlord.

Some of your rights include:

  • the property being kept in good condition
  • the property meeting certain health and safety standards
  • your landlord can’t show up at any time for any reason at all.

These will be different if you’re staying at a boarding house, where you are renting a room rather than the whole house. Lots of flatting arrangements are technically boarding, and the requirements are generally the same, though it's important you know what your different rights are.

For more information on boarding houses, click on the Tenancy Services link below.

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How about my responsibilities?

Moving into a new place brings responsibilities you probably wouldn’t have thought about until now. These should be explained in your tenancy agreement, though it’s a good idea to understand the kinds of things that will be expected of you before you get to that point.

A few examples include:

  • paying your rent on time
  • keeping the place tidy
  • not causing any damage to the property.

Again, boarding houses have some different rules, so check out the link above if you want information on your responsibilities there.

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What if something goes wrong?

If you’re having problems with your landlord, and you can’t seem to solve them between yourselves, the Tenancy Tribunal can be of help. The Tenancy Tribunal is available to step in legally as long as you can prove that you are being mistreated. There is a cost involved however, and you should try and solve the issues in other ways first. A good relationship with your landlord can prove to be worth its weight in gold!

If you’re not sure whether your landlord is acting against your rights and you just want some advice, then Youth Law is your best bet. It offers free legal help, and can be called on the number listed on their website.

Check out each organisation by clicking on the following links:

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Key websites

  • Community Law - The official home of the Community Law Centres across Aotearoa New Zealand, which aims to provide free legal help to people throughout the country.
  • YouthLaw Aotearoa - YouthLaw Aotearoa is a community law centre which provides free legal help to children and young people under 25. Their website contains useful information in relation to your rights.