Whare can I find info about sub-letting?

Question from Roanna updated on 14th November 2008:

I am about to sublet my house and can't seem to find any information about standard subletting agreements. I am wanting to compose a contract of some sort, but want to make sure this is kosher. Could you perhaps either direct me towards the appropriate website or let me know the general rules and regulations regarding subletting. And yes - my landlord is in accord with this arrangement.

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

The Residential Tenancies Act governs the relationship between residential landlords and tenants. It generally also applies to sub-let residential tenancies. Parties to a sub-let tenancy may use the same residential tenancy agreement as any other landlord and tenant. You can find a standard residential tenancy agreement, as well as other useful forms and information, from the Department of Building and Housing website (www.dbh.govt.nz).

The sub-landlord (you) and sub-tenant (person you sub-let to) generally have the same rights and responsibilities under the Act as any other landlord and tenant. It is important, however, to understand that you will continue to be responsible as tenant to the main landlord under the main tenancy agreement. You should also note that the Act:
• allows your landlord to recover from you any reasonable expenses incurred as a result of the sub-letting
• contains specific provisions about what happens when the head tenancy is terminated by the landlord.

I recommend that you also contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262) to further discuss how the Residential Tenancies Act applies to your situation.

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.


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