Do I need to pay rent as a part-owner?

Question from Lin updated on 1st September 2006:

I am a part owner in a house with my siblings left to us as an inheritance. Two of my siblings live in the house, I live overseas. One of my siblings thinks I should be paying my share of the mortgage (which is about $500 a month), rates, insurance. I think that whoever stays in the house should pay it, as this is considered "rent" If we got renters in, then the income would cover the mortgage, rates and insurance. When I am back in NZ I do stay in the house, but I am only back every 2 or so years, a month or 2 months at a time. Looking forward to your reply.

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

This is not a residential rental situation unless you have established a tenancy agreement with the full-time residents of the property. From the information that you have provided, it appears that the occupants are in fact part-owners of the property. The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 does not apply to premises which are used as a place of residence by the landlord (usually the owner) or the landlord’s family.


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