Rights & obligations of tenants & landlords 


What are my rights as a tenant?

What are my obligations and responsibilities as a tenant?
What are my rights as a landlord?
What are my obligations and responsibilities as a landlord?

What are my rights as a tenant?

You have a right to enjoy your property privately, undisturbed by others. The landlord has to respect your peace and privacy. If they don’t, the Tribunal can fine your landlord for an intentional breach. Check out our pages on rent, bond, property inspections and other renting costs to find out about your rights in those areas.

What are my obligations and responsibilities as a tenant?

You are obliged to:

  • pay the power, gas, telephone charges
  • pay water usage charges
    • if the water supplier charges separately for the water , and
    • if there is a meter to measure how much water was used

unless the landlord agrees in writing to pay for these. Note that the landlord is responsible for paying any fixed water charges.

During your tenancy, you must not:

  • intentionally or carelessly damage the premises
  • use the premises for anything illegal
  • disturb the neighbours
  • have more people living in the premises than are specified in the agreement
  • change the locks, attach fixtures or make any renovations, alterations or additions to the premises unless outlined in the agreement or allowed with written permission from the landlord

As a tenant you are responsible for

  • paying the rent on time
  • making sure the house or flat is used mainly for living purposes
  • keeping the house or flat reasonably clean and tidy
  • being a good neighbour (i.e. not disturbing your neighbours) 
  • letting the landlord know as soon as damage is discovered or repairs needed
  • leaving when the tenancy comes to an end
  • removing  all your personal items from the house or flat when you leave
  • leavingthe house or flat reasonably tidy, and remove all rubbish at the end of the tenancy
  • returning the keys to the landlord at the end of the tenancy
  • leaving any personal items or pieces of furniture provided by the landlord


What are my rights as a landlord?

Check out our pages on rent, bond, property inspections and other renting costs to find out about your rights in those areas.

You have the right to

  • enter the premises if you have the tenant’s permission (usually you have to give 48 hours’ notice), if there is an emergency, or if the Tenancy Tribunal has made an order that the landlord can enter the premises
  • receive rent when it is due
  • set an amount for bond money
  • inspect the premises when the tenant leaves
  • hold money back from the bond if there has been damage during the tenancy or if there is any rent owing from the tenants


What are my obligations and responsibilities as a landlord?

During the tenancy, you must

  • provide a written and signed tenancy agreement
  • provide the premises in a reasonably clean state
  • keep the premises in a reasonable state of repair
  • comply with building, health and safety requirements
  • make sure none of the other tenants in neighbouring flats disturb the tenant
  • give the tenant written notice if the property is going to be sold
  • compensate the tenant for serious and urgent repairs that the tenant has had done, if the damage was not the tenant’s fault and the tenant made a reasonable attempt to contact you about the repairs
  • give the tenant at least 24 hours notice and visit between 8am and 7pm if you need to do any repairs or maintenance
  • ask your tenant’s permission and visit at a reasonable hour if you want to show a prospective buyer, tenant or registered valuer through the premises
  • not use force, or threat of force, to enter or attempt to enter the premises while the tenant or anyone else is on the premises – it’s an offence to do so
  • not interfere with the supply of gas, power, water, telephone services, or other services to the premises, unless it is necessary for maintenance or repair, or to prevent danger

As a landlord, you must provide and maintain locks necessary to make the premises secure, and cannot change the locks without the tenant’s permission.
You are responsible for

  • providing locks that keep the house or flat secure
  • telling the tenants if the house or flat is going to be sold
  • giving at least 48 hours notice if you want to inspect the house or flat
  • giving at least 24 hours notice of any repair work to be carried out

If you want to inspect the premises you

  • have to give the tenant at least 48 hours and up to 14 days warning
  • must inspect between 8am and 7pm
  • can’t inspect more than once every four weeks

For more information about any of these rights and obligations see the Building and Housing website.