Applying for orders

Question from Maria updated on 22nd April 2015:

When a tenant is in breach of the 14 day notice to remedy and a landlord is seeking a possession order for the property, is the order only obtainable by going through the Tenancy Tribunal? Or can the landlord go direct to their district court and request a possession order? Also is a possession order granted without a court hearing? As opposed to waiting for a hearing to terminate.

Our expert Alan Bruce responded:

The Tenancy Tribunal is the dispute resolution process established under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) and has the ability to determine any dispute that falls within its jurisdiction. The Act also allows a process of mediation, whereby a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (the Ministry) mediator works alongside the parties to a dispute to facilitate a mutual agreement to settle the dispute. A mediated agreement may be sealed by an adjudicator as an order of the Tenancy Tribunal, allowing the terms of that mediated agreement to be enforced. The terms of this agreement may include the termination of the tenancy and possession.

Under the Act, the Tenancy Tribunal at the hearing has jurisdiction to determine an application for the granting of a possession order. Once a landlord has secured a possession order through the Tenancy Tribunal, a landlord can then take that order to the District Court and discuss enforcement options with Court staff if necessary. A landlord cannot apply directly to the District Court unless the total amount of the claim exceeds $50,000.00. Similarly, the Tenancy Tribunal can only transfer proceedings to the District Court if it determines that the matter falls outside the jurisdiction of the Tenancy Tribunal or is satisfied the matter would be more properly determined in that court.

To discuss your situation further, or for further information regarding the Tenancy Tribunal or enforcement processes,  you can visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website (, or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).




The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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