Do you own a residential property? Are you fully aware of your rights and obligations as an owner? Most rentals are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the law), regardless of a contrary agreement. The law defines the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants and dictates the role of rental services. A new occupant does not need to be a tenant. If your current contract authorizes sublease and you do not require a new person to be named on the agreement, a new person may become a roommate. The existing tenant may choose to allow others to live with them, provided they do not exceed the maximum number of people allowed to live in the dwelling. It is important that if rent is not made, landlords are immediately informed of their tenants with the indication of the amount owed. This notification gives the tenant 10 working days to pay the amount owed. An example of 10 business days` notice can be www.tenancyservices.govt.nz. Pension leases need additional information. If your current contract does not allow for subletting or if a strict number of inmates is indicated, you can change the tenancy agreement that will allow the tenant to have another person with him. Leases must be established in writing and the lessor must give a copy to the tenant before the lease begins.

However, even if there is no formal written agreement, the Housing Act applies. Landlords and tenants cannot evade their obligations by not providing their agreement in writing. A standard agreement is provided by rental services on their website (www.tenancyservices.govt.nz) and is also available in bookstores. The rent must be paid by the tenant when due. If the tenant pays in cash or with an open cheque, the landlord must present a receipt. All receipts and statements of account included in the payment of rent must be kept in a secure place so that the tenant or tenants` court can (if necessary) consult the rent due and paid for a specified period of time. Landlords must communicate a rent increase in writing to a tenant for 60 days and cannot increase the rent more than every six months. In the case of fixed-term rent, the rent can only be increased if it is authorized by the contract.

Any provision of a contract that speeds up the payment of rent, increases rent or provides for payment of an amount in case of damage or breach of a contractual clause by the tenant is ineffective. If a tenant believes that the rent is payable or payable for a tenancy agreement, the market rent exceeds a substantial amount, the tenant can apply for a rent reduction order on the market rent with the Tenant Court.

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