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What is 'reasonable' post-letting fee?

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


So, no more letting fees as of today. 

Our expectation is that most landlords will bear the cost of letting. That said, there are still other costs relating to the assignment of a tenancy that the amendment has stayed silent on. 


Tenancy Services has put out a statement advising that "landlords and agents can still recover expenses reasonably incurred from a tenant if they wish to assign, sublet, or part with possession of their rental homes."

We drill down to find out exactly what this statement means by asking Katrina O'Connor, Barfoot & Thompson Property Management Customer Experience Manager to clarify that would be a 'reasonable expense' in these circumstances: 

"Interesting question: When considering the reasonable expenses in a break lease situation we would suggest you consider all of your costs - The obvious ones include Trademe.co.nz ($179.00) and credit checks ($10-15 each) for example or a letting & marketing fee if you are paying for the services of a letting agent, but if you are self-managing your property what about the less obvious costs such as the time spent completing a change of tenant inspection, final water reading costs ($25) time spent reference checking, preparing documentation, viewing attendance etc.

Barfoot & Thompson is advising tenants who wish to break a fixed term lease that the cost of doing this is $700+GST (with full cost breakdown).


It has yet to be "tested" at Tenancy Tribunal as to what is deemed to be "reasonable", however reasonable and cheap should not be confused as meaning the same thing."

Note that Katrina's comment relates to changes to an existing tenancy rather than the granting of a new tenancy. 

Do you have any tenancy related questions? Write to us at [email protected] or hit us up on our social channels here and here


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