Residential Tenancies Act 1986

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2 Interpretation

(1)

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—

accommodation broker means a person who, in the ordinary course of business, otherwise than as a solicitor or a letting agent acting on behalf of clients, informs other persons for fee or reward—

(a)

of residential premises that are or may be available for letting; or

(b)

of the names, addresses, or telephone numbers of persons who are or may be the proprietors or occupiers of residential premises that are or may be available for letting; or

(c)

of the names, addresses, or telephone numbers of persons who wish or may wish to become tenants of residential premises

address for service has the meaning given to it by section 13AB

adult means a person who has attained the age of 18 years, or who is under that age but is or has been married or in a civil union

agent, in relation to any person who is a landlord or a tenant, means an agent of that person in that person’s capacity as landlord or tenant; and includes an employee of that person in that person’s capacity as landlord or tenant

application, in relation to the Tribunal, includes—

(a)

an application made jointly by the landlord and the tenant of any premises; and

(b)

any complaint by the landlord against the tenant or by the tenant against the landlord; and

(c)

any claim by the landlord against the tenant or by the tenant against the landlord:

(d)

any complaint by the chief executive alleging a breach of this Act:

(e)

any other application that may be made to the Tribunal by virtue of any of the provisions of this Act or of any regulations made under this Act

approved form, in relation to any application or other matter, means a form approved and made available by the chief executive for the purposes of that application or matter

assignment means a transfer to a person of all of the rights that a tenant has under a tenancy agreement

boarding house, boarding house tenancy, boarding house tenancy agreement, and boarding room have the meanings given to them in section 66B

bond means any sum of money payable or paid under a tenancy agreement as security for the observance and performance of the tenant’s obligations under the agreement and this Act; but does not include any sum payable or paid by way of rent

chief executive means the chief executive of the department

commercial premises means premises that are not residential premises

contact address,—

(a)

in relation to a landlord, means an address or addresses (which may include telephone numbers) where the landlord or the landlord’s agent is reasonably contactable by the tenant; and in addition

(b)

in relation to a landlord that is a company, includes (if the information is different from that given under paragraph (a))—

(i)

the full name of the officer responsible to the company for the administration of the tenancy; and

(ii)

an address or addresses (which may include telephone numbers) where that officer or the landlord’s agent is reasonably contactable by the tenant; and

(iii)

the address of the company’s registered office

department means the department of State that, with the authority of the Prime Minister, is for the time being responsible for the administration of this Act

Deputy Principal Tenancy Adjudicator means the Deputy Principal Tenancy Adjudicator appointed under section 67(2A)

dispute, in relation to a matter before, or to be brought before, the Tribunal, includes any claim, difference, question, or other matter, whether it requires a decision as between the parties or a declaration

ethical belief means the absence of a religious belief whether in respect of a particular religion or religions or all religions

facilities, in relation to a tenancy agreement (other than a boarding house tenancy agreement), includes all facilities provided by the landlord for the non-exclusive use and enjoyment of the tenant, otherwise than as part of the premises that are the subject of the agreement, such as the following:

(a)

any land or buildings intended for use for storage space or for the parking of motor vehicles:

(b)

laundry facilities:

(c)

cooking facilities:

(d)

lifts and stairways:

(e)

rubbish storage and rubbish disposal facilities:

(f)

toilet and washing facilities:

(g)

appliances for heating or cooling premises:

(h)

communication facilities:

(i)

recreational areas:

(j)

lawns, gardens, and outhouses

fixed-term tenancy means a tenancy for a fixed term; but, except as provided in section 7(3) and section 58(1), does not include such a tenancy that is terminable by notice

the Fund means the Residential Tenancies Fund established by section 127

goods means goods, baggage, and chattels of any description; and includes animals and plants; and also includes money, documents, and all other things of value

guarantor, in relation to a tenancy, means a person who guarantees the performance of the tenant’s obligations, or who indemnifies the landlord against loss that he or she may incur in respect of the tenancy, or who assumes liability for the performance of the obligations of the tenant, and guarantee has a corresponding meaning

income-related rent tenancy means a tenancy, other than a boarding house tenancy,—

(a)

that commences before 1 July 2016 and in relation to which section 72(1) or 92(1) of the Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Act 1992 applies at the beginning of 1 July 2016; or

(b)

that commences on or after 1 July 2016 and in relation to which section 72(1) or 92(1) of the Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Act 1992 applies at its commencement

key money means any sum of money demanded by way of fine, premium, foregift, reimbursement of expenses, administration charges, or otherwise as consideration for the grant, continuance, extension, variation, or renewal of a tenancy agreement, or for consent to the surrender or disposition of the tenant’s interest under a tenancy agreement or to a subletting by the tenant; but does not include any sum payable or paid by way of rent or bond

landlord, in relation to any residential premises that are the subject of a tenancy agreement, means the grantor of a tenancy of the premises under the agreement; and, where appropriate, includes—

(a)

a prospective landlord; and

(b)

a former landlord; and

(c)

a lawful successor in title of a landlord to the premises; and

(d)

the personal representative of a deceased landlord; and

(e)

an agent of a landlord

letting agent, in relation to a tenancy, means a person who, in the ordinary course of business, acts, or who holds himself or herself out to the public as ready to act, for reward as an agent in respect of the grant or assignment of tenancies, whether or not that person carries on any other business

member of the landlord’s or owner’s family means any of the following:

(a)

the landlord’s or owner’s spouse or civil union partner:

(b)

the landlord’s or owner’s de facto partner:

(c)

any child of the landlord or owner or of any person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b):

(d)

any other child who is being, or is to be, cared for on a continuous basis by the landlord or owner or any person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b):

(e)

any parent of the landlord or owner or of any person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b):

(f)

any other person who is related (whether by blood or marriage) to the landlord or owner or to any person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) and is residing, or is to reside, in the landlord’s or owner’s premises in accordance with an arrangement between that person and the landlord or the owner of a predominantly domestic or family nature rather than a predominantly commercial nature

Minister means the Minister of the Crown who, under the authority of any warrant or with the authority of the Prime Minister, is for the time being responsible for the administration of this Act

minor means any person who is not an adult

New Zealand Standard has the meaning given in section 4(1) of the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015

officer of the Tribunal means an officer of the department or the Ministry of Justice who is for the time being acting in the service of the Tribunal; and includes a Tenancy Mediator

order, in relation to the Tribunal, means any order, decision, determination, consent, approval, or ruling given or made by the Tribunal; and includes an order by the Tribunal dismissing an application

periodic tenancy means a residential tenancy other than a fixed-term tenancy

possession order means an order made by the Tribunal under section 64, 65, or 66Y granting possession of any premises to any person named in the order

premises includes (other than in relation to a boarding house tenancy, in which case the definition in section 66B applies)

(a)

any part of any premises; and

(b)

any land and appurtenances, other than facilities; and

(c)

any mobile home, caravan, or other means of shelter placed or erected upon any land and intended for occupation on that land

prescribed means prescribed by this Act or by regulations made under this Act

Principal Tenancy Adjudicator means the Principal Tenancy Adjudicator appointed under section 67(2)(a)

prospective landlord means a person who has offered to grant a tenancy to any other person, or who has entered into negotiations with any other person for the granting of a tenancy to that other person

prospective tenant means a person to whom any other person has offered to grant a tenancy, or with whom any other person has entered into negotiations for the granting of a tenancy to that person

Registrar, in relation to the Tribunal, means a person who holds that position under section 72(1) or who is designated under section 72(2)

rent means any money, goods, services, or other valuable consideration in the nature of rent to be paid or supplied under a tenancy agreement by the tenant; but does not include any sum of money payable or paid by way of bond

residential premises means any premises used or intended for occupation by any person as a place of residence

service tenancy means a tenancy granted under a term of, or otherwise as an incident of, a contract of service or a contract for services between the landlord as employer and the tenant as employee or contractor, whether or not a separate tenancy agreement is concluded in writing between the parties, and whether or not any rent is payable for the tenancy; and includes—

(a)

any tenancy of that kind granted under or in accordance with any enactment; and

(b)

any tenancy of that kind granted by a company to an employee or contractor of an associated company (within the meaning of subsection (2)); and

(c)

any tenancy granted by the Armed Forces to any person subject to the Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971

tenancy, in relation to any residential premises, means the right to occupy the premises (whether exclusively or otherwise) in consideration for rent; and includes any tenancy of residential premises implied or created by any enactment; and, where appropriate, also includes a former tenancy

tenancy agreement, in relation to any residential premises, means any express or implied agreement under which any person, for rent, grants or agrees to grant to any other person a tenancy of the premises; and, where appropriate, includes a former tenancy agreement and any variation of a tenancy agreement

Tenancy Mediator means a Tenancy Mediator appointed under section 76

tenant, in relation to any residential premises that are the subject of a tenancy agreement, means the grantee of a tenancy of the premises under the agreement; and, where appropriate, includes—

(a)

a prospective tenant; and

(b)

a former tenant; and

(c)

a lawful successor in title of a tenant to the premises; and

(d)

the personal representative of a deceased tenant; and

(e)

an agent of a tenant

Tribunal means the Tenancy Tribunal constituted by section 67

unlawful act means anything declared by any of the provisions of this Act to be an unlawful act

witness summons means a summons issued under section 98 requiring the person named in the summons to attend at a specified time and place and to give evidence or to produce any document or thing

work order

(a)

means an order by the Tribunal to carry out any repairs to any premises or to any chattels, or to rectify any deficiency in the performance of any services, by doing such work or attending to such matters (including the replacement of chattels) as may be specified in the order; and

(b)

includes (without limiting the generality of paragraph (a)), an order by the Tribunal requiring a party to carry out any work, as specified in the order, for the purpose of complying with any requirement in respect of smoke alarms or insulation imposed on the party by regulations made under section 138A or 138B

working day means any day other than—

(a)

a Saturday, a Sunday, Waitangi Day, Anzac Day, the Sovereign’s birthday, and Labour Day; and

(b)

if Waitangi Day or Anzac Day falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, the following Monday; and

(c)

the day observed in the appropriate area as the anniversary of the province of which the area forms part; and

(d)

a day in the period commencing with Good Friday and expiring with the Tuesday after Easter; and

(e)

a day in the period commencing with 24 December and expiring with 3 January.

(2)

For the purposes of paragraph (b) of the definition of the term service tenancy in subsection (1), 2 companies are associated if one is the wholly or partly owned subsidiary of the other.

(3)

For the purposes of this Act, where any premises that are subject to a legal or an equitable lease are used for both commercial and residential purposes, the premises shall be deemed to be residential premises unless it is proved that the premises were let principally for purposes other than residential purposes.

Compare: 1952 No 51 s 104A; 1955 No 50 s 2; 1973 No 26 s 2; 1975 No 36 s 4; Residential Tenancies Act 1978–1981 s 5 (SA)

Section 2(1) accommodation broker: amended, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(5) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) address for service: replaced, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(3) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) adult: amended, on 26 April 2005, by section 7 of the Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3).

Section 2(1) application paragraph (d): amended, on 18 August 1992, by section 2(1) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 1992 (1992 No 79).

Section 2(1) approved form: inserted, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(1) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) assignment: inserted, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(1) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) bailiff: repealed, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(4) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) boarding house, boarding house tenancy, boarding house tenancy agreement, and boarding room: inserted, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(2) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) chief executive: replaced, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(3) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) contact address: inserted, on 1 May 1996, by section 2(2) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 1996 (1996 No 7).

Section 2(1) corporation: repealed, on 18 August 1992, by section 2(3) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 1992 (1992 No 79).

Section 2(1) department: inserted, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(1) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) Deputy Principal Tenancy Adjudicator: amended, on 1 May 1996, by section 2(3) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 1996 (1996 No 7).

Section 2(1) Director-General: repealed, on 18 August 1992, by section 2(3) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 1992 (1992 No 79).

Section 2(1) dispute: inserted, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(1) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) ethnic or national origins: repealed, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(4) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) facilities: amended, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(6) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) fixed-term tenancy: amended, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(7) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) guarantor: inserted, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(1) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) income-related rent tenancy: inserted, on 1 July 2016, by section 4(1) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No 26).

Section 2(1) key money: amended, on 1 May 1996, by section 2(4) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 1996 (1996 No 7).

Section 2(1) letting agent: inserted, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(1) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) member of the landlord’s family: repealed, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(3) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) member of the landlord’s or owner’s family: inserted, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(3) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) Minister: replaced, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(3) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) Ministry: repealed, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(4) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) New Zealand Standard: inserted, on 1 July 2016, by section 4(1) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No 26).

Section 2(1) officer of the Tribunal: replaced, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(3) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) possession order: amended, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(8) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) premises: amended, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(9) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) protected tenancy: repealed, on 1 May 1996, by section 2(5) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 1996 (1996 No 7).

Section 2(1) Registrar: replaced, on 12 December 2012, by section 4 of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2012 (2012 No 113).

Section 2(1) service tenancy: replaced, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(3) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) Tenancy Mediator: amended, on 1 May 1996, by section 2(6) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 1996 (1996 No 7).

Section 2(1) Tenancy Officer: repealed, on 1 October 2010, by section 4(4) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 95).

Section 2(1) work order: replaced, on 1 July 2016, by section 4(3) of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No 26).

Section 2(1) working day paragraph (a): replaced, on 1 January 2014, by section 8 of the Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day) Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 19).

Section 2(1) working day paragraph (b): replaced, on 1 January 2014, by section 8 of the Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day) Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 19).