Rental agreement terms to be met by both landlord and tenant

Michael asks:
(updated on Thursday, November 18th 2010)

Is a tenancy agreement valid if it does not contain a service address for the landlord (has a phone number), and states two weeks advance rent required even though it is paid on a weekly basis? This agreement was signed approx 4 months ago by us (the tenant) not in the presence of the landlord, nor have we received a copy with the LLs signature. Thanks in advance.

Our Experts Answer:

Tenancy agreements are valid when:  

  • an offer is made to rent a property; and
  • an agreement between the two parties on the terms and conditions of the tenancy is accepted; and
  • there has been an exchange of benefits between both parties (e.g. rent in exchange for renting the property).

Tenancy agreements should be in writing, however, they may still be enforceable where an agreement has been made verbally. If you have entered into a tenancy agreement with your landlord, it will be valid if details have been omitted in error. I suggest contacting your landlord to have them complete their details on the agreement, and to clarify the rent in advance requirements.

A tenant cannot be required to pay further rent before the expiry of the period for which rent has already been paid. If the rent was agreed to be paid two weeks in advance, then rent payments should be paid fortnightly. If the rent was agreed to be paid weekly, then it will be paid one week in advance.

To discuss your situation further, or for information about applying to the Tenancy Tribunal, you can visit the Department of Building and Housing website (www.dbh.govt.nz), or call 0800 TENANCY

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

 

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