Entry rights

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.

For more on tenancy rights and responsibilities, go to www.tenancy.govt.nz or subscribe to our e-newsletter Landlord News at www.tenancy.govt.nz/subscribe.




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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