Using rental for business

Question from Neihana updated on 13th November 2019:

What rules are there around using a rental property as a business address?

Our expert Jennifer Sykes responded:

The New Zealand Companies Office has information relating to updating company addresses on its website. The Residential Tenancies Act covers tenancies for residential purposes. It does not cover commercial agreements. The RTA also states that residential tenancies must be used primarily for residential purposes.

If you are wanting to operate a business out of your rental home, you should discuss this with your landlord, and contact your local council to ensure you can run a business in the area you live in, as the particular business activity might require resource consent and may require a change of use for the building. Tenants must also make sure that any business activity does not interfere with the reasonable peace, comfort, or privacy of anyone residing in the neighbourhood.

The landlord and tenant should also check with their insurance providers to see if the business activity would impact on any insurance policies.

For more on the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, go to or 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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