Abusive flat-share

Question from Mark updated on 13th March 2019:

I have a person on the same property as me staying in a self-contained sleep out adjacent to the three bedroom house I am in. I agreed to let them stay in it but there was only ever a verbal agreement for living arrangements and conditions. I have a signed tenancy agreement with the owner of the property but they have not.

Due to circumstances over the last two months I decided to give them a written agreement. They verbally abused me, said that it wasn't a legal document and told me to go away. After one week of harassing me they signed. But within two hours they had broken parts of the agreement. When I questioned this, they told me to get off their property or they would ring the Police. I have given them four weeks’ notice to leave as agreed verbally and written. But they refuse to communicate and just threaten to call the Police. Could you please tell me what rights I might have or what I can do?




Our expert Bernard Parker responded:

Most tenancy agreements, including the generic form available from Tenancy Services, require a landlord’s written consent before a tenant can sub-let. I assume that you don’t have that authority, and that you have not sub-let the sleep-out by means of a tenancy arrangement. It sounds like you have a flat-sharing type of agreement with the other occupant. Therefore, whatever terms you agree to are the terms that operate. If your signed agreement allows you to give four weeks’ notice to the occupant, then that person must vacate according to the notice. If they don’t vacate you may need to call the Police for assistance.



Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 22 years.

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