Do you need a tenancy agreement for your rental property?

Did you know that all residential tenancies are required to be recorded in the form of a written agreement?

The Residential Tenancies Act requires a written tenancy agreement to be completed before a tenant moves in.

Tenancy agreements must contain key information including:

  • The address of property
  • Contact details of the landlord and tenant
  • The tenancy start date and the date agreement was signed
  • Type of tenancy
  • Addresses for service for both parties
  • The weekly rent and bond amount, frequency of rent payments and account number for rents to be paid
  • Any chattels provided by the landlord

These are only the minimum requirements and it is generally best practice to record additional information that may affect the tenancy. Standard tenancy agreements can be downloaded from tenancy.govt.nz/starting-a-tenancy/tenancy-agreements. Landlords should have completed a comprehensive tenant selection process and tenancy application forms should all be filed away safely with copies of tenancy agreements.

Over the years we have seen tenancy agreements on the back of food packaging and tenancies negotiated verbally with no written agreement initially in place. The Residential Tenancies Act will still govern the tenancy if there is no tenancy agreement while your tenant is in occupation. However, there are great risks for landlords with no agreement in place. Tenants can claim that as there is no written agreement documented then no legal tenancy is in place.

The most common problem is when tenants/residents stop paying rent and claim they are not responsible as they are not the legal tenant. If rent is owed and damages occur, then proving who is actually responsible can be very difficult. If you have a rental property with no written tenancy agreement, then it is important that you arrange to meet with your tenants to record the tenancy details in the form of a written agreement ASAP before problems arise. If tenants are not paying rent or won’t move out, then you can make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal for the termination of the tenancy.

If you have no written tenancy agreement, then act now and get one completed with your tenants before problems occur. You may need to negotiate the tenancy specifics, and the condition of the tenancy should also be recorded at the same time. Regular property inspections, property maintenance schedules and frequent rent reviews will help ensure a successful tenancy.

If you engage a property manager like Point Property, we can arrange all the required legal documentation including bond lodgements. For more information on our property management service you can request a no obligation consultation with one of our professional property managers.

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