Taking your tenant to the Tenancy Tribunal isn’t an easy choice to make, and it certainly isn’t going to make them any more fond of you. But, if communicating the issue fails, and their behaviour is enough to warrant it then the Tenancy Tribunal might be your best option.

Here are some examples of situations where you would probably be justified in taking your tenant to the Tenancy Tribunal.

Unpaid rent

If your tenant is at least 21 days behind in rent then you can take them to the Tenancy Tribunal. You can even apply to evict them. If tenants have made no effort to explain why they are behind in rent, or if they’ve avoided talking about it all together then it is worth taking them to the Tenancy Tribunal.

Damage to the property

If your tenants have caused more than the usual wear and tear to your property, and you have reason to believe that it’s more than just a lack of care, then it could be worth taking them to the Tenancy Tribunal. You do not need to put up with your tenants knowingly and deliberately causing damage to your property.

Failing to adhere to a 14-day notice to remedy

If you’ve issued your tenants a 14-day notice to remedy, and they fail to meet this deadline, then you may apply to have them evicted. If you’ve gotten to the stage where they’ve been warned they need to remedy their behaviour and yet still haven’t, then it’s time to consider taking them to the Tenancy Tribunal.

Incorrect use of the property

If you discover that your tenants have been subletting rooms or using the property for uses not set out in the tenancy agreement then you should consider taking them to the Tenancy Tribunal. In the past, landlords have been repaid the amount of rent that tenants have charged subletters, so it is worth seeking legal advice and action if necessary.


Keep in mind that the Tenancy Tribunal should – depending on the situation – be a final step in the process of conflict resolution. Keeping open communication between yourself and your tenant is a key step in resolving issues in the early stages before they become serious issues.

Generally, a reasonable tenant will be prepared to work with you through any issues that arise, and you shouldn’t need to take them to the Tenancy Tribunal. But, there comes a point where it becomes unreasonable to expect you to struggle through these issues with your tenant and a third party is required to come to a resolution.

Remember, there are many other contributing factors to consider. You can have a look at Tribunal orders here for some insight to an issue you might be experiencing. If you search according to the issue then this will give you an idea of how often other landlords take the issue to the Tribunal, and what sort of outcome you might expect.

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