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Are you operating a boarding house without knowing?

12 March 2020

Photo by Ketan Kumawat from Pexels

You may have less time than you think to make your property compliant with new healthy homes standards if you're operating a boarding house and not aware of it.

What is a boarding house?

Currently, under the Act, a boarding house and a boarding house tenancy are clearly defined.

A boarding house is defined as a residential property with individual rooms and communal facilities, rented (or intended to be rented) separately to six or more people who don't know each other.

A boarding house tenancy is a residential tenancy in a boarding house that is intended for at least 28 days that gives a tenant permission to occupy sleeping quarters in the boarding house as well as provides access to the common areas and shared use of the facilities.

This arrangement is different to a standard tenancy, where tenants sign the tenancy agreement to rent the whole property.

Are you running a boarding house?

The following criteria have to be satisfied:

  • The property has at least one boarding room
  • The property is (or intend to be) occupied by at least six tenants at a time
  • The tenancies are at least 28 days or over
  • The tenants have exclusive rights to occupy specific sleeping quarters in the property and have rights to the shared use of the facilities of the property

Healthy Homes Standards deadline

From 1 July 2021 private landlords with standard residential tenancies need to make sure their rental properties are compliant within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy.

But ALL the boarding houses must comply with the healthy homes standards.

This means that all necessary improvements need to have been completed by 1 July 2021 to meet the standards.

Boarding houses that are not compliant with the healthy homes standards may be subject to a financial penalty.

Read more about healthy homes standards

If you're uncertain whether you're operating a boarding house or not, we recommend for you to visit the boarding houses section of the Tenancy Services website

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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