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Is tenancy agreement enforceable when tenants and landlords live in the same property?

Photo: Bay of Islands New Zealand. Front view of Waitangi House or Treaty House as it is now known by denisbin

You may have decided to rent out one of the rooms in your house and so, unintentionally became a live-in landlord. There are some circumstances where you still be covered by the Residential Tenancy Act and some where you’re not.

Normally if the house is a principle place of residence for the owner of the property or landlord or any member of their family the Residential Tenancy Act doesn’t not apply. These are the situations where landlords live with flatmates or boarders or any people they invite to live with them.

Though there is a special provision in the Residential Tenancy Act, where landlords and their flatmates can choose to contract into the Residential Tenancy Act or even parts of it. This is normally done by completing a tenancy agreement.

In cases like this it is essential that all parties are aware what it means to opt in, what obligations they have and what is required of them to comply with the law.

It is important to include terms confirming what exactly everyone agreed to, how the Residential Tenancy Act (or what parts of it) will apply to this agreement.

Both a residential tenancy agreement and a flat/house-sharing agreement can be used as a starting point.

The information contained in this article is exclusively for promotional purposes. It does not in any way constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as the basis for any legal action or contractual dealings. The information is not, and does not attempt to be, a comprehensive account of the relevant law in New Zealand. If you require legal advice you should seek independent legal counsel. does not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.

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