It’s important that our public housing customers understand their tenancy responsibilities.
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A summary of the Residential Tenancies Act
The Residential Tenancies Act applies to everyone who is renting a home and is designed to protect our customers and the landlord.
Everyone who lives in our homes, must have a written Tenancy Agreement that sets out conditions that have been agreed to. Conditions may include things like where you can park your car or whether you can have a pet.
Both the customer and landlord must sign the Tenancy Agreement and ensure our customers have a copy of this, before the tenancy begins.
If we enter into a tenancy agreement with you, we will:
- make sure your home or flat is in good condition and that the locks and fastenings are adequate
- make sure your home meets building codes and health and safety standards
- arrange for essential repairs to be done as quickly as possible
- give you 24 hours notice before doing any planned maintenance work
- give you 48 hours notice before an annual visit.
If you feel we aren’t meeting our responsibilities, get in touch with us so we can work together to resolve this.
By signing the tenancy agreement, you have the right to enjoy the peace, comfort, and privacy of your home without being unreasonably disturbed by Kāinga Ora or any other Kāinga Ora customers.
As a Kāinga Ora customer, you need to:
- pay your rent on time
- look after your new home and grounds by keeping them tidy
- let us know as soon as possible when maintenance is needed
- take responsibility for the behaviour of other people who live in or visit your home. You may be liable for any damage they cause
- respect your neighbours peace, comfort and privacy
We want to keep you fire safe in your home. To maintain fire safety in your home, you need to:
- let us know as soon as possible if any smoke alarms at the premises are not working. Please do not tamper with smoke alarms or remove batteries
- maintain a way to escape from a fire, making sure:
- the escape routes are kept clear (do not store items in stairwells and passage ways)
- fire exit doors are free of obstacles
- Smoke-control and fire-stop doors, if you have them, are kept closed.
If you lose your keys or lock yourself out you can either arrange a locksmith yourself or call us and we'll arrange a new key for you.
It’s important that you’re able to live well in your home so if something is not right we want to hear from you. Your feedback is important to us because it helps us understand how we can improve the way we do things.
Step 1: If you’re not happy with something, contact us and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.
Step 2: If you’re not happy with our response to your complaint, you can contact us again and ask us to have another look.
Step 3: If you’re still not happy with our decision, you can ask us to refer your complaint to the Office of the Complaints Commissioner for review.
This is a new process we’ve introduced to give all our customers the option of an independent review of our decisions to make sure we arrived at the best possible outcome.
We will respond to your first complaint within 2 working days. If you are posting a letter, a response may take more time and it will be quicker to talk to us or use our online feedback form. See our Contact us page for all our contact details.
If you break the conditions of your agreement and it is something that can be fixed, we will ask you to fix the problem within 14 days.
If you don't fix the problem, we will ask the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment for mediation or go direct to the Tenancy Tribunal to end your tenancy and get you to pay any money owed to us.
If you're having difficulty paying your rent, let us know. We may be able to help you with other subsidies such as:
- more suitable arrangements to pay money you owe
- offer suggestions to help you get budget advice.
Mediation is a way for people to sort out problems with the help of a trained, impartial person. The mediator will try to help the people in a dispute to come to an agreement that works for both parties. For more information about mediation, contact the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment Tenancy Services(external link) on 0800 TENANCY (0800 83 62 62).
The Tenancy Tribunal
The Tenancy Tribunal is a court set up to deal with unresolved problems between tenants and landlords. We may apply for a Tenancy Tribunal Order if you:
- owe more than 21 days' rent
- have caused or threatened to cause substantial damage to your home or garden
- have assaulted or threatened to assault a Kāinga Ora staff member or neighbour
- have had 14 days' notice to do something under the tenancy agreement but haven't done it
- have broken one or more of the terms of your tenancy agreement with us and the problem cannot be resolved
- have used or allowed your home or flat to be used for illegal activities.
- For more information about the Tenancy Tribunal, contact the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment Tenancy Services(external link) on 0800 TENANCY (0800 83 62 62).
Independent advice for tenants
If you have a complaint or concern about Kāinga Ora, contact us in the first instance on 0800 801 601. If you're not satisfied with the result, you may decide to apply for mediation or to go to the Tenancy Tribunal. Application forms are available from all Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment offices. There is an application fee of $20.
The Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment(external link) also provides free advice for tenants.
Page updated: 22 September 2021