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Living with your tenants?

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  • Living with your tenants?

    Hey everyone.

    I've moved back from overseas 6 months ago and over the last year and a half I've had a good tenant in my property that has looked after the place and paid her rent on time. It's her and her two teenage daughters.

    With my job I'm literally overseas more than half the time, so since I've been back I've been in with my parents but this is not a permanent solution - I own an old car that I want to get into a garage (it's also at a family members garage and they're keen for me to get it out asap).

    I have had a fair bit of contact with the tenant directly since I have been back (I also have a PM) and she was actually looking to get someone in anyway and was very receptive to the idea of me moving in and giving up half the garage for my car. We get along and basically no-one else I know is looking to move in somewhere, so if I was to take over the house my new flatmates would all be randoms - this seems like a better fit as there is already some trust with current tenant and she's pretty cool generally speaking.

    I was wondering what my tax and legal and insurance implications might be...

    I was thinking in terms of costs, reducing the rent by an agreed amount - tenant pay internet (currently in her name) and I continue to pay the lawns out of the rent. Power and water split (I pay a quarter as there would be four of us).

    I need the garage more than anything, I could still technically roam about with family and friends around the country...

    The rent for the house was 350 but I reduced to 320 for 6 months while I had work done on house (half a new roof, etc).

  • #2
    As someone who has had a lot of boarders...I wouldn't go there again but we have had good and bad experiences. Tax wise, if they are considered 'boarders' and pay under a certain amount per week, then you are not required to pay tax. But I think you may have to be in charge of power bills etc and them just paying a flat rate per person. Not sure...if you're not there a lot of the time it could work well.


    • #3
      Under this scenario they would no longer be tenants under the RTA. They would be flatmates and the IRD's current stance on flatmates is if there is no intention to make a profit (i.e. renting out rooms to help pay the property expenses) it's not necessary to declare it.

      However, moving back in may trigger a deemed sale if you've been filing rental returns.

      There are no hard-and-fast rules as regards flatmate arrangements and any disputes come under the Disputes Tribunal.

      Your insurance company definitely need to know. If you currently have landlord's/rental insurance, you may even get a reduction in your premium now that you'll be an owner-occupier and presumably keeping a closer eye on the place.
      My blog. From personal experience.


      • #4
        Will it not be harder to "come down hard on them" for arrears, damage etc. if they essentially become your friends?
        Finance Broker - www.creditone.co.nz