Tenant business in rental property

Question from aleisha updated on 24th July 2019:

My tenants have started a business without my permission. The business has affected my insurance. However, the tenants have since taken out business liability insurance. I’m still not comfortable with the business been run from the house. What are my rights?

Our expert Jennifer Sykes responded:

The Residential Tenancies Act covers tenancies for residential purposes, not business arrangements; and the Act states residential tenancies must be used primarily for residential purposes. It is always recommended that tenants and landlords discuss the use of the premises for business purposes.

While the issue of business liability insurance has been addressed, any business activity on the premises must be lawful, and the tenant must continue to meet their responsibilities under the Act. This includes ensuring they do not interfere with the reasonable peace, comfort and privacy of their neighbours.

The use of the property for a particular business activity must also comply with building law, local bylaws, council zoning and land use requirements. If you have any concerns about compliance with these requirements you can contact the local council.

For more information on permitted activity under the Act and what conditions can be included in a tenancy agreement, go to www.tenancy.govt.nz. You can also subscribe to our e-newsletter Tenancy Matters here.

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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