Are you ten­ant or flat­mate?

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By JU­LIA AN­DREWS

At the bureau we re­ceive ques­tions re­lat­ing to ten­ancy and some­times af­ter ques­tion­ing the client we find that the ques­tion is not re­lated to ten­ant/land­lord sit­u­a­tion but to a flat­mate or board­ing sit­u­a­tion. So what is the dif­fer­ence? A ten­ant is the per­son(s) who rents premises from a land­lord – the per­son who signs the ten­ancy agree­ment and has rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties un­der the Res­i­den­tial Ten­ancy Act.

A flat­mate is a per­son who lives in the rental premises but who has not signed the ten­ancy agree­ment with the land­lord.

A flat­mate is re­spon­si­ble to the ten­ant(s) who have signed the ten­ancy agree­ment.

The rights of a flat­mate will de­pend on the agree­ment they have with the ten­ant – a writ­ten flat­mate agree­ment is a good idea.

A flat­mate is not cov­ered un­der the Res­i­den­tial Ten­ancy Act.

A flat­mate usu­ally con­trib­utes to­wards the rent, power and food and is partly re­spon­si­ble for the clean­ing of the flat.

A boarder, of which there is one or two in a house, is sim­i­lar to a flat­mate, how­ever usu­ally pays a set amount each week which in the ma­jor­ity of cases cov­ers rent, power and food.

A boarder is usu­ally re­spon­si­ble for only clean­ing their room, and in some cases wash­ing and cook­ing is pro­vided as part of the agree­ment.

A boarder is not cov­ered un­der the Res­i­den­tial Ten­ancy Act.

A board­ing house ten­ancy is an agree­ment cov­er­ing one be­d­room, in a house with shared fa­cil­i­ties with at least five oth­ers.

The agree­ment has to be in­tended to last for at least 28 days to be cov­ered un­der the Res­i­den­tial Ten­ancy Act.

When things go wrong, and dis­putes arise, de­pend­ing on the ‘‘ten­ancy’’ is de­ter­mined by the rem­edy and the rights some­one has.

To find out more you could visit and click on Hous­ing, Land and En­vi­ron­ment, and se­lect – Res­i­den­tial ten­ancy or Flat­ting and Board­ing.

An­other op­tion for tenants and land­lords is­an­cyin­dex.

Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau Porirua is open Mon­day to Fri­day, 9am to 4.30pm and un­til 7pm on Thurs­day, Pem­ber House, level 2, 16 Ha­gley Street, Porirua. Please call us on 04 237 8846 or free phone 0800 367 222, email us on or visit Our ser­vice is free and con­fi­den­tial.

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