Question from Jan updated on 12th July 2017:
A 90 day notice on my rental property has expired and the tenant is still there. What are my rights? Can I enter the property?
Our expert Allan Galloway responded:
If the tenants do not leave when a notice expires, they are committing an unlawful act.
But a landlord cannot just enter the property because the notice has expired. It is necessary to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for a ‘possession order’ returning legal possession of the property to you. The Ministry of Justice can then enforce the order.
A landlord can also ask the Tribunal to order the tenant to pay compensation for any costs incurred plus exemplary damages of up to $1,000.
If a landlord enters the property in the meantime, they must have a lawful reason to do so - such as to do a property inspection with 48 hours’ notice.
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.