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Landlord going overseas? You may need to appoint someone to manage your property

4 September 2017

Photo: Malolo Resort Fiji by Roderick Eime

Planning a little fun in the sun? Cultural tour? Business trip? Or just a relaxing break away from it all... If you are out of the country for more than 21 days, then you'll need to assign someone to manage the property in your absence.

If you're a self-managing landlord and you're planning on being overseas for more than 21 days, then you'll need to make sure that you comply with residential tenancy law by assigning someone to manage the property in your absence. They do not have to be a property professional or a property manager - it can be anyone of your choosing. It must, however, be someone you trust to make decisions and manage the tenancy in your absence.

To comply with the Residential Tenancies Act, you must do the following before you leave the country:

  • Fill out this form to change the landlord's details with Tenancy Services and email it to:
  • Inform the tenant of the change of details. The easiest way to notify your tenant is to upload this form through the myRent app or email it to them directly. We would suggest that you explain to the tenant that this is a temporary change required by law, and that you will be the main contact when you return.

If you do not comply with this requirement, the tenant can give you a notice to remedy due to your absence, meaning the issue could end up at the tribunal.

Remember: when you get back in the country, you'll need to repeat the process to reappoint yourself as the property manager.

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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What the community has to say
  • RA

    Crazy that law states you need to fill in form but tenancy services have twice told me not necessary. Just advise tenant of contact and all their details.

  • AA

    The 21 day rule is totally unnecessary. If a landlord has a good network of plumber,sparky, handyman (most do) then surely they can manage from overseas no problem (especially from Oz / Pacific Islands where time difference is no issue). All the landlord will do to satisfy the rule is appoint a family member/friend to tick that box, then keep managing affairs themselves. I don't get the usefulness of the 21 day rule as it is. Silly.

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