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Tiny Homes – How to protect your position when it comes to entering in to a leasing arrangement

16 April 2021

Whether you’re looking to buy a tiny home for the purpose of renting, or buying as an affordable option to owning your own home, very few think about the placement of their tiny home once it’s complete and how to protect themselves when it comes to a landlord/tenant type relationship.

Very few are aware that under the Residential Tenancies Act (Act), people who own or live in mobile homes on bare land are exempt from being protected under the Act. This means that landowners charging rent or tiny house owners paying rent are unable to use the Tenancy Tribunal should a dispute arise.

At the bare minimum, whether you are the landlord or tiny home owner, you should have something in writing setting out the obligations or expectations on either party. A well drafted lease which balances the interests of both parties is the most effective way of avoiding a potentially costly and time consuming dispute.

Most often disputes happen in situations where the landlord increases rent or there is no clear agreement as to how long any ‘lease’ type arrangement is intended to run for. We are seeing more disputes arise in relation to the reinstatement and repair obligations when the owner of the tiny home leaves.

We often become involved when a relationship between a landlord and tenant sours because the parties have overlooked the importance of entering in to a formal agreement. If you don’t have anything in writing, and a dispute arises, the process required to resolve that dispute can be costly.

 

Odette Cottle is a Senior Associate in the Corporate & Commercial Team at Norris Ward McKinnon. You can contact Odette at odette.cottle@nwm.co.nz