NZ Rent Laws | Guide for Landlords

Keeping up-to-date with rental property laws is so important. Across the board, research is showing property investors are getting increasingly anxious about staying compliant with the new laws coming in, as well as the older laws.


With the rent freeze having been removed we thought this week we will discuss the rent laws. Keep in mind this only scratches the surface of all the tenancy laws landlords need to be aware of if they decide to manage their own rental properties.



How Can Landlords Charge Rent During Tenancy?


A landlord can ask for 1 or 2 weeks’ rent in advance during the tenancy, depending on whether the tenant will pay rent weekly (landlord can ask for 1 week in advance) or fortnightly (landlord can ask for 2 weeks in advance).



Do Landlords Need to Keep Record of Rent Payments?


Landlords must keep copies of all documents relating to the rental home. Rent and bond records must be kept for 7 years after the tax year to which they relate. You will also find this documentation particularly useful if applying to Tenancy Tribunal for overdue rent.



What Should I Do About Rent Arrears?


It’s an awkward issue to arise, but even seemingly perfect tenants can suddenly stop paying rent. If not resolved quickly, this issue can suddenly turn into a loss worth thousands of dollars. Over the years, we've found many self managing landlords find rent arrears a hard task to deal with, simply because they feel awkward confronting tenants to discuss money, or even worse, they may demand the arrears be paid, but be ignored by the tenant or given false promises that it will be paid back soon. It's a big topic to discuss, too big for a single paragraph. Find out How to Recover Rent Arrears in our recent article, as well as How Landlords Can Prevent Rent Arrears.



How Often Can Landlords Increase Rent?


Landlords can now only increase rent every 12 months during a tenancy. If you're putting the rental property on the market this restriction doesn't apply, it is only for when there is a current tenancy in place.



What's the Process for Increasing Rent


Landlords must always give 60 days' notice to tenants regarding rent increases. The notice must be served in writing, say how much the rent is increasing by and the day the increased rent is due. Make sure you keep a copy of the notice and file it away.



How Much Can Rent Increase


There is no limitation to the amount rent can be increased by. However it must be of market value. If the landlord is charging significantly more than similar properties in the area, tenants can take their landlord to the Tenancy Tribunal and ask for a rent reduction. In this situation, the tenant will need to have evidence that their rent is a lot higher than the rent for similar houses in the same area. Make sure you set the right rent with a no-obligation, free rental appraisal from residential rental property experts.


Final thoughts


Hopefully now you feel more confident when it comes to rental laws. But like we said, this only scratches the surface of all the tenancy laws landlords need to know about.


If you're feeling overwhelmed by Healthy Homes Standards and all the new laws coming in, get in touch with us today. Our Wellington Property managers can do it all for you. We manage property in the Wellington and Hutt Valley regions. Feel confident your property and tenants are looked after by our professional Property managers with our property management services .


Find out how our Care & Return System will benefit you, receive a no-obligation, free rental appraisal for your Wellington investment property today!

Call Jordan Atkinson - 027 297 0873

Quinovic Kent Terrace | Wellington


Call Allan Hartley - 027 522 9084

Quinovic Johnsonville | Wellington


Call Helen Vance - 027 487 8103

Quinovic Hutt Valley | Wellington

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