What rights does a Landlord have regarding reference checking tenants?

Question from Sharon updated on 18th October 2007:

What rights as a potential landlord does one have to check references, previous address proof, police checks etc. Many thanks

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

A landlord may ask a prospective tenant to provide full contact information, identification, proof of previous address and references. Landlords can also ask prospective tenants to consent to a credit check. However, landlords should be aware that prospective tenants are under no legal obligation to provide this information. The Department of Building and Housing has a helpful pre-tenancy application form that landlords can use. It is available on the Department’s website www.dbh.govt.nz For tenancy advice and information call 0800 TENANCY (0800 83 62 62).

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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