Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Not sure of your rights when renting?

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The Citizens Advice Bureau says it often receives queries from people about issues relating to renting a home. Times file photo Wayne Martin

CAB Pakuranga & Eastern says that renting issues are some of the most common enquiries clients ask them about.

Some of the regular problems that they see include questions about rent payments, bond refunds, disputes over damage and inspections and problems with mouldy, damp housing.

Pamela Kirtlan, CAB Pakuranga Publicity & Awareness, says that lots of renting problems occur because people don’t know their rights and responsibilities as tenants (or landlords).

“There are a few key things to remember when you are renting” says Kirtlan.

“One of the most important is that it’s a legal requirement to have a written tenancy agreement. The agreement is your go-to if you have any disputes. It sets out the terms that you agreed to with your landlord.”

You also need to keep a record of any changes to the agreement, such as adding or removing any co-tenants.

If you have any problems, the best thing to do is raise them with your landlord as soon as possible.

“It’s good to put any issues in writing so that you have a record of this communication” says Kirtlan.

Talking to your landlord (or tenant) as soon as possible can help resolve a lot of difficulties, but if you can’t reach an agreement or your landlord doesn’t sort things out within a reasonable time period, you have some other options.

“A polite follow-up discussion or email can sometimes result in action but if this doesn’t work, the tenant can send the landlord a 14-day notice to remedy,” says Kirtlan.

This is a letter warning the landlord that they have 14 days to fix the problem, or you may go to the Tenancy Tribunal to sort the matter out. If the landlord still doesn’t act, the tenant can make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal. It costs around $20 ($20.44 in fact!) to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal and you can apply online or use a paper form.

“Knowing your rights is always a good place to start” says Kirtlan.

“There is lots of great information about your renting rights our website, and we are always here to help.

“Under the Covid 19 Red framework, we are available by phone or email; Pakuranga 576 8331, Botany 271 5382 or email and we can help you work through your options.

Once our offices reopen for face-to-face visits, you can pop into CAB Pakuranga at 7 Aylesbury St, Pakuranga (Library Building) or CAB Botany located at Botany Town Centre near the rear entrance to the food court.

  • For further information, contact Pamela Kirtlan, Publicity & Awareness, Mob 021 714006
  • This year CAB Awareness Week runs from March 14-20, 2022. This is a chance to celebrate and promote what the CAB does in communities around Aotearoa and inform people of their renters’ rights and what they are entitled to as tenants and renters.

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is a nationwide, but locally based, community organisation that provides free, confidential, independent information and advice. The CAB helps people to know and understand their rights and responsibilities and to find the community services they need.

Visit our website for more information For online resources for tenants and their advocates, visit

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