Should I take my tenant to the Tenancy Tribunal? - Rental News | rentalnews.co.nz

Should I take my tenant to the Tenancy Tribunal?

Taking your tenant to the Tenancy Tribunal isn’t an easy choice to make. It certainly isn’t going to make your tenants 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 be justified in taking your tenant to the Tenancy Tribunal.

Unpaid rent

If your tenant is at least 21 days behind in rent, you can take them to the Tenancy Tribunal. You can even apply to evict them. Have your tenants have made no effort to explain why they are behind in rent? Or have they avoided talking about it all together? If you have already issued a 14 day notice, your next step is  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, 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.

residential tenancies act

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 it is at 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

Some landlords have discovered that tenants have been subletting rooms or using the property for uses not set out in the tenancy agreement. In this case, 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. It is definitely 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. It is best to resolve things in the early stages before they become serious, and cost you time and money.

Generally, a reasonable tenant will be prepared to work with you through any issues that arise. 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.

Look at Tribunal orders here for some insight in to issues you might be experiencing. If you search according to the issue, then this will give you an idea of how common the problem is. It will also give you the outcomes of tribunal cases, then you know what you can expect.

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