Letting "family flat"

Question from Roy updated on 1st April 2014:

Can I rent a house that is a consented property as a family flat but is a separate dwelling to the main house?

Our expert Alan Bruce responded:

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (the Ministry) provides advice on the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) and the relationship between landlords and tenants. The Act applies in respect of all residential tenancies, with the exception of specific situations that are excluded under the Act. There are no specific restrictions under the Act on renting a separate dwelling on your own property. However, you do have an obligation under the Act to ensure that the premises complies with all the relevant health, safety and building regulations that apply to the premises. This also includes ensuring all relevant consents are in place. We advise you to ask your local council whether there are any restrictions on using the family flat as a rental property (e.g. that you are not breaching any overcrowding requirements). If you decide to become a landlord, you should familiarise yourself with your obligations under the Act. Information about both landlord and tenant’s rights and obligations can be found by visiting our website at: http://www.dbh.govt.nz/tenancy-index. If you decide to rent to a family member, or if your situation becomes more of a flatting type arrangement, your situation may be excluded under the Act. The types of tenancies that are excluded under the Act can be viewed at: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1986/0120/latest/DLM95000.html. Parties to any residential arrangement that does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Act can agree that the Act (in whole or in part) will apply to their situation (and recorded in writing). If you would like to discuss your situation further, or for information about landlord and tenant rights and obligations, you can visit the Ministry’s website (as noted above), or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

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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