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I have decided to move out of my flat, but I did not sign a…

Customer Question
I have decided to...

I have decided to move out of my flat, but I did not sign a lease/tenancey agreement or paid a bond when I moved in, there was also no spoken agreement made. My flat mate is now saying she has the authority to make me pay out by 4 weeks. I don't think I legally have to as I did not sign anything. What is your view/take on this situation? Am I legally obliged to do anything around what she has said?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

I am in New Zealand based in Wellington

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I have been subject to verbal abuse from one of the other flatmates

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: New Zealand Law
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Answered in 9 hours by:
8/2/2017
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 10 months ago
Chris The Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 23,674
Experience: 38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Hi

I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Could you answer it?
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

There is a difference between a tenant and a flatmate. If you have signed the lease or tenancy agreement then you are a tenant and subject to the usual period of notice. If you are a flatmate then you are not subject to tenancy law, and you don't have to give more than reasonable notice, so if you give a week or two notice that is sufficient

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Thank you
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
I am not legally obliged to pay anything as I am not linked to the flat?
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

Agreements between flatmates are not covered by tenancy law, which means that any arrangements can be negotiated to whatever suits everybody. If there wasn't any agreement about the time to give notice, then it would just be a reasonable period. So if you gave say, two weeks notice, that should be adequate, and she cannot ask you for four weeks rent. And specifically answering your question, you are not obliged to pay anything

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Awesome that helps thank you!
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

Glad to help

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Would it make a difference if the flatmate is also my landlord
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

If there is no tenancy agreement and you are just a flatmate, then no, my answer is the same

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
According to my flatmate she says we have a verbal agreement which started when I paid her
Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

The Residential Tenancies Act does require that tenancy agreements be in writing. So if there was a tenancy agreement you would be entitled to use all parts of the flat. If you are just a flatmate, with access exclusively to your own room, but sharing the other facilities, and without access to any other room used by other flatmates, then you are not a tenant

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Solicitor: Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

Thank you for the reply and for using this site. You may ask further questions or rate this answer when you are ready.

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Solicitor: serish khan, Lawyer replied 10 months ago
serish khan
serish khan, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 76
Experience: Solicitor/Partner at Khan & Associates
Verified

Hi there, i see my colleague has answered your question. Are you wanting a second opinion? I am happy to help. if not please accept his answer to take it off the question board. Thank you.

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