Letting individual rooms

Question from Lila updated on 11th March 2014:

Can I set up individual tenancy agreements for individual rooms? I have four I would like to let out. I would occupy the fifth room and the garage and live between two homes so it allows me access anytime to the premises. Is that possible?

Our expert Alan Bruce responded:

The short answer to this is yes, however, this depends on the type of arrangement in place, which determines the rules that apply. The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) sets out the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants to a residential tenancy. However, certain situations are exempt under the Act, including where the landlord or owner (or a family member of the landlord or owner) uses the premises during the tenancy as their principal place of residence. Where a residential premises is considered exempt, the parties may agree that the Act will apply to their situation (in whole or in part). The Act also makes provisions for boarding house tenancies which have specific rules depending on the nature of the agreements in place, and may apply where the premises contain one or more boarding rooms with facilities for communal use, are occupied (or intended to be occupied) by at least 6 tenants, where the tenancy is intended to last (or does last) for 28 days or more, and the tenant has their own sleeping area with the use of shared communal areas. As there are differing options that may apply depending on your situation, I would recommend you contact the Ministry for further advice specific to your intended arrangement. You can contact the Ministry’s Tenancy Advice line on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262), or by emailing info@dbh.govt.nz. Further information regarding landlord and tenant rights and obligations can also be viewed on the Ministry’s website at www.dbh.govt.nz.

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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