Our Experts Answer:
The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) generally applies to all residential tenancies. There is nothing that prohibits a landlord from living on the same section as a tenant or next door to a tenant, however, where a particular arrangement is covered under the Act, both the landlord and tenant(s) need to ensure their obligations are complied with (for example, landlords cannot interfere with the tenant’s reasonable peace, comfort and privacy in the use of the premises). There are, however, certain situations which are excluded from the Act, including where the premises is the principal place of residence by the landlord or the owner. Other situations that are considered exempt can be viewed by visiting -http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1986/0120/latest/DLM95000.html. Unless an arrangement specifically falls within these exemptions, both parties need to ensure that their obligations are complied with. If it is unclear whether the Act applies to a specific situation, parties can make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter determined. Where a situation is excluded from the Act, the parties can agree that the Act (or certain parts of the Act) will apply to their agreement, with the details of any such agreement clearly recorded in writing. Any party to any arrangement that is excluded from the Act may wish to seek independent legal advice from a solicitor or local Community Law Centre regarding their situation. As it is unclear what type of living arrangement is in place in your situation you may wish to contact us directly by phoning 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262) to speak to a member of our tenancy advice team.