Tenancy Expert

Ask Jennifer Sykes, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment questions relating to tenants and landlords

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

Illegal sub-let

Michelle asks:

I have been renting and living in a unit for over two months now. But I just found out that it has been illegally sub-let to me and I've been given two weeks notice. What are my rights? I was lied to about this and I wouldn't have used my holiday pay to shift into the unit if I had known that the tenancy was illegal.

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Bond recovery

Jeri asks:

My friend and I moved to New Zealand on a working holiday visa. We rented two rooms for $230 per week per room in Paihia, Northland. We moved in on November 24 with a six month contract. We paid a $460 bond each. We were asked to give at least two weeks notice when we decided to move.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic we decided to fly back to the UK. Our flight was booked on March 24 and we were only able to give five days notice. Our landlord said that it was fine and that she would keep the bond until she found two new tenants.

However, our flight got cancelled and our landlord told us that we could only have one room back at $260 per week as she had rented out the other room. We managed to book flights back to the UK on May 21 and gave notice of our departure on April 23, so nearly a months notice.

But now that we have moved back to the UK our landlord is refusing to pay all of our bond back. She has given us just half of it with her excuse being that she had to drop the rent. What can we do?

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Meth liability

Kunal asks:

I have a property that was baseline meth tested 10 days after my old tenants vacated and six days before the new tenants took over the tenancy. During the 16-day period between tenants only my property manager had access to the property. Now the "new tenants" have moved out and the property has failed a meth test. Am I able to hold my "new tenants" liable in this situation?

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