Rent arrears and overdue rent.

If tenants don’t pay the rent on time it is a breach of the tenancy agreement and the Residential Tenancies Act.

The tenancy agreement will say how the rent is to be paid and when.


Responsibility for paying the rent 

The tenant is the person (or people) named on the tenancy agreement as tenants. They are legally responsible for paying the rent. Tenants can’t refuse to pay rent while waiting for the landlord to fix something.

If there are multiple tenants, and one of them causes the rent payment to be missed or short, all other tenants are responsible for the overdue rent. They will have to pay the debt if the offending tenant does not.

If someone else shares the house, but they are not named as a tenant on the tenancy agreement, they’re likely to be a flatmate. Flatmates pay rent to the tenant. They’re not part of the tenancy agreement, and they’re responsible to the tenant, not the landlord.


What to do if your tenant has rent arrears

You can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for termination of the tenancy (if the tenant owes 21 days of rent or more, or doesn’t remedy the overdue rent).


How much it costs to apply

The application fee is $20.44 (including GST).
If you are the one making the application, you pay the fee. If you’re on a benefit, Work and Income may be able to help you.
If you’re successful, the Tenancy Tribunal can order the other party to pay you the application fee. You need to ask for this when making your application.
If your claim goes to mediation, part of the agreement may be that the other person pays you the application fee.


Enforcing Tenancy Tribunal decisions

Your decision could be in a mediator’s order or a Tenancy Tribunal order. These orders are legally binding.
To enforce a mediator’s order, it must be sealed by the Tenancy Tribunal. Talk about this with the  mediator to see if your order can be sealed. An adjudicator will decide if the order can be enforced. If it can, they will seal it.
If your tenant debtor has failed to pay the amount in the Tribunal or mediators order as it requires them to do, CIA Debt Recovery can enforce the order for you through civil enforcement in the District Court.



How to pay and apply online

Please visit the Tenancy Services website