Occupancy Agreement NZ: All You Need to Know

If you are looking for a temporary living arrangement or a rental property in New Zealand, you might come across an “occupancy agreement.” But what is it, and what does it cover? Let`s dive into the details.

What is an Occupancy Agreement?

An occupancy agreement is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of a living arrangement between a landlord and a tenant. Unlike a typical tenancy agreement, an occupancy agreement is designed for short-term or uncertain living situations, such as:

– A house-sitting arrangement

– A student accommodation

– A subletting agreement

– A flatmate agreement

The occupancy agreement explains the rights and obligations of both parties, including the rent, the duration of the agreement, the use of the property, and any special conditions that may apply.

What Does an Occupancy Agreement Cover?

An occupancy agreement should cover the following aspects:

1. Rent: The agreement should state the amount of rent to be paid, the frequency of payments, and the due date. It should also specify the method of payment and any late fees or penalties.

2. Duration: The agreement should state the start and end dates of the occupancy, as well as any renewal options. If either party wants to terminate the agreement early, they should follow the notice period specified in the agreement.

3. Property Use: The agreement should clarify how the property can be used, such as for residential purposes only, or with restrictions on certain activities (e.g., no smoking or no pets). It should also specify any shared spaces or amenities that the tenant can access.

4. Responsibilities: The agreement should outline the responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant, such as who is responsible for maintenance and repairs, utilities, insurance, and security. It should also specify any restrictions on alterations, guests, or noise levels.

5. Termination: The agreement should specify the conditions for terminating the agreement, such as breach of contract, non-payment of rent, or mutual agreement. It should also outline the process for returning the property to the landlord and settling any outstanding rent or damages.

Why Use an Occupancy Agreement?

Using an occupancy agreement can benefit both the landlord and the tenant. For the landlord, it provides a way to safeguard their property and ensure that the tenant follows the agreed terms. For the tenant, it offers a level of transparency and protection against unexpected changes or misunderstandings.

An occupancy agreement is particularly useful in situations where a traditional tenancy agreement may not be appropriate or feasible. For example, if you are going on vacation and need someone to look after your house, an occupancy agreement can clarify the expectations and responsibilities of both parties. Or if you are a student looking for temporary accommodation, an occupancy agreement can provide a flexible and affordable option.


An occupancy agreement is a useful tool for managing short-term or uncertain living situations in New Zealand. It outlines the rent, duration, property use, responsibilities, and termination conditions of the living arrangement between the landlord and the tenant. If you are considering an occupancy agreement, make sure to read and understand the terms carefully before signing. And as always, consult a legal professional if you have any questions or concerns.