As of 12 December 2018, tenants must no longer be charged letting fees by their landlord or the landlord’s letting agent.

Letting fees are often charged by a landlord or their agent to cover costs such as showing the property, vetting prospective tenants, and advertising.  They are usually equal to one week’s rent and paid upfront at the start of a tenancy. 

A new law has come into force which makes it illegal for tenants to be charged letting fees from 12 December 2018 onwards.  From that date, a landlord must cover the costs for engaging an agent or letting a property rather than charging the tenant.  

What if letting fees are charged after 12 December?

Anyone who charges a tenant letting fees could be liable to pay them damages of up to $1,000.

It should be noted that this new law does not prevent a landlord from recovering costs from their tenant associated with reassigning, subletting or moving out early.

If tenants face any difficulties with landlords or their agents continuing to request payment of letting fees or refusing to grant a tenancy until some other fee is paid, they should contact Tenancy Services for advice (www.tenancy.govt.nz).




Grace Sharp
Solicitor
Wellington