Seeking information on domestic rentals

Question from Christopher updated on 4th November 2013:

We have just brought an investment unit and part of the financing deal is the tenant has to sign a 12-month lease agreement. Where can I find a sample or even a standard lease agreement that relates to a domestic rental situation? Also can you advise of any dangers to look out for?

Our expert Alan Bruce responded:

As a landlord you should familiarise yourself with the rights and responsibilities of both parties who enter into a contract covered by the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act). The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (the Ministry) has information and tools available to assist parties who enter into agreements, including fixed-term tenancies that are covered by the Act. A helpful tool for first time landlords is the new landlord pack. This contains information about rights and responsibilities under the renting law (the Residential Tenancies Act 1986), what to check for before you choose your tenants, how to make a tenancy agreement, the tenancy forms required to manage your property effectively (including the Ministry’s standard form agreement), keeping track of rent payments, things you can do if your tenant breaches the tenancy agreement, how to learn more or get help from us if required and also taking and lodging bond money. You can view further information about the pack and download it for free at: The Ministry provides a landlord e-newsletter. This is a quarterly news bulletin which covers new resources and tools, education events and opportunities and topics of interest. Information about subscribing is available at: Introductory education seminars are run by the Ministry, which are designed to help new landlords run their rental properties effectively. There is no charge for the seminar, but you must register to attend as places are limited. You can find further information about what upcoming seminars are available at: If you are going to manage the tenancy yourself, you may consider whether to join a property investors association. Information regarding this can be viewed at: If you would prefer to have someone manage the tenancy on your behalf, you may wish to contact Real Estate Institute of New Zealand ( or Independent Property Managers Association ( for further information. To discuss your situation further or for information about landlord and tenant responsibilities and obligations under the Act, you can visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s website (, 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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