Change of tenant

Rebecca asks:
(updated on Monday, August 12th 2019)

When a remaining tenant refuses to sign a change of tenant form for a tenant who has moved out and wishes to assign a new tenant to her lease, what constitutes reasonable refusal when a third tenant, and the landlord are happy to sign and all police checks, etc are fine?

Our Experts Answer:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, tenants named on the tenancy agreement are jointly responsible for the tenancy, including rent, not just their own share. All parties must agree to any changes to the agreement. Talking again with the tenant who is refusing to sign, to identify their objections, is worth considering before taking more formal action.

If the tenancy agreement you have allows for the tenancy to be assigned to another tenant, and you as landlord agree to the new tenant, another option is to make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal. Tenancy Services manages the application process and will schedule a mediation or Tenancy Tribunal hearing. Applications to the Tenancy Tribunal can be made through the Tenancy Services website (www.tenancy.govt.nz).

For more information on disputes, mediation and applying to the Tenancy Tribunal, go to www.tenancy.govt.nz. You can also subscribe to our e-newsletter Tenancy Matters here

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