Your rights and responsibilities

Last updated: 4 August 2015

Your tenancy agreement sets out your rights and responsibilities. Most of these are legal requirements of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

Your tenancy agreement is one of the documents you signed before you moved in. It is in the information kit that also has information on fire safety, getting along with neighbours and what to do if you are going to be away from your home.

Our responsibilities

Our responsibilities as landlord include:

  • Making sure the property is vacant and reasonably clean on the date you move in
  • Keeping the property in good repair

Your responsibilities

Your responsibilities as a public housing tenant include:

  • Making sure you do not damage the property and that you tell us about any damage
  • Making sure you keep the property reasonably clean
  • Not using the property for an illegal purpose
  • Not transferring your tenancy to someone else without our permission
  • Not allowing another person to move into the property without our permission
  • Not creating, or allowing your visitors to create, a nuisance.

Neighbourly behaviour statement

A neighbourly behaviour statement is given to all public housing tenants so that they are fully aware of their responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 and their tenancy agreement.

The neighbourly behaviour statement outlines the responsibilities of tenants, including paying rent on time, respecting public housing properties and respecting their neighbours' right to peace, comfort and privacy.

The statement also outlines the consequences for tenants who breach their tenancy agreement.

New public housing tenants must sign the neighbourly behaviour statement before they can sign a public housing tenancy agreement. If they don't, they won't be allowed to move into public housing.

More information on neighbourly behaviour

Household members

A household is made up of the people approved to live in your public housing property. Your household members are the tenants, including yourself, the residents and dependants.


The person (or people) who signed the tenancy agreement and whose name is on the lease.

The tenant is responsible for meeting the conditions of the tenancy agreement, like paying the rent on time.

There may be joint tenants in your household, including yourself.  All joint tenants sign the tenancy agreement and have tenancy responsibility.


Anyone 18 years of age and over that is approved to live in the house with the tenant.

A resident does not have the same rights as a tenant because they have not signed the tenancy agreement. For example, if the tenant moves out, residents cannot continue living in the property.

Children (under 18 years of age) are also household members.

Changes to household members

When you are approved as a public housing tenant, others listed as household members are approved to live in the house with you.
You must tell us if there are any changes, like if someone moves out or moves in.

If someone moves in or a baby is born, they will be an additional household member. This may affect your rent.

Visitors are considered household members if they:

  • Regularly stay three or more nights a week
  • Stay for longer than four weeks.

Find out more about household changes, including how to tell us about them.

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