Renting out a sleep-out

Question from linda updated on 31st July 2020:

I have a sleep out that I would like to rent out. It has a kitchenette and ensuite. The power is connected to the main house and there is no washing machine in the sleepout. Do I rent it as a flat with tenancy services or would it be considered a flatmate situation where we have a private agreement?

Our expert Bernard Parker responded:

A sleepout is not able to be rented as a separate unit if it is not consented as a separate residence by the local authority.  It is best used as part of the main residence, for flatmates or extended family.  If you let the property separately without the required consent being in place the tenancy is unlawful, and a landlord faces a possible order from the Tenancy Tribunal to return a large amount of the rent paid by the tenant.

Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.

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