Tenancy Expert

Tenancy
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.

Lease release terms

Reinnette asks:

We signed a two year lease a year and a half ago. We struggled to pay the rent but it was do able. Now the rent has dropped around our property significantly. At the same time, we found a house we liked and purchased it.

I was advised that to get out of my lease they would have to drop the rent to let it to someone else - but I am liable to pay the difference until the contract finished. I don't think it is fair when they didn't replace the broken dishwasher for two months I didn't refuse to pay rent...

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Reclaiming letting fee

Scentcina asks:

My family moved into a house for rent through an agent. But after we moved in everything was to be dealt with through the landlord. Two weeks after we moved in I got a call from another agent saying that the landlord is putting the house on the market for sale. I'm just wondering what are the chances of getting any money back from the letting fee and so on?

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Granny flat requirements

Robert asks:

I have a property which was built in 1974 and renovated in the year 2000. It has a granny flat which has a kitchen, bathroom and toilet, hot water cylinder, one bedroom, and its own exit door. It is located on top of the garage and there is no internal access to main building. The granny flat was used as the house keeper's house by the previous owner. 

I rented it out to a family. But a city council officer did a building inspection and asked me not rent the granny flat separately, or to only rent it to a family member. The reason for this is that is that the building zone is single house zone.

My questions are: 1) Does the granny flat qualify as a granny flat or as a self contained flat? 2) Are granny flats not allowed to be rented separately? 3) Can granny flats only be rented to family members?

 

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