Rent arrears assistance

If money is tight and you're worried you'll lose your housing because you owe rent, you may be able to get Rent Arrears Assistance.

  • You don't need to be on a benefit to qualify for this help.
  • It's a one-off payment.
  • You'll need to pay the money back. We'll put a repayment plan in place to suit your financial circumstances.
  • Who can get it

    You may be able to get Rent Arrears Assistance if you:

    • are 16 or older
    • have signed the tenancy agreement (or you're a tenant by way of a Family Violence Act order)
    • have overdue rent you need to pay
    • may be evicted because you haven't paid your rent
    • are able to stay there if you pay the rent you owe, eg:
      • your tenancy isn't about to expire
      • you can afford to keep paying the rent.

    Residency

    You also need to meet one of these residency criteria:

    • you're a New Zealand citizen
    • you have a resident visa or permanent resident visa and have lived in NZ continuously for at least 2 years since getting it
    • you're recognised as a refugee by Immigration New Zealand
    • you're recognised as a protected person by Immigration New Zealand
    • you're getting a main benefit from us (eg, Jobseeker Support), or
    • you fit into one of these categories:
      • you have a Christchurch Response Visa
      • you get Christchurch Mosque Attack Assistance, or
      • you get a Special Needs Grant because you came to New Zealand on a temporary visa to be with your NZ partner and your relationship ended due to domestic violence.

    Assets

    Your assets also need to be under a certain limit. Assets include money in the bank, or things like a caravan. They don’t include the things you need for day-to-day living, eg, your car.

    If you're:

    Your assets are worth less than:

    Single

    $8,100

    Married, civil union or de facto couple (with or without children) or sole parent

    $16,200

    Income

    If you don't get a main benefit from us (eg, Jobseeker Support or Sole Parent Support), it will also depend on how much you and your partner earn.

    (A Student Allowance or Accommodation Supplement is not counted as a main benefit).

    Income limits - NZ Super and Veteran's Pension

    Your NZ Super and Veteran's Pension payments are not counted as income.

    If you get NZ Super or Veteran's Pension from Work and Income, your income needs to be under these limits:

    If you're:

    Weekly income (before tax) is less than:

    Single

    $584.46

    Couple (with or without children)

    $848.92

    Sole parent 1 child

    $709.22

    Sole parent 2+ children

    $747.20

    Income limits - Don't get a main benefit

    If you don't get a main benefit, your income needs to be under these limits:

    If you're:

    Weekly income (before tax) is less than:

    Single

    $1,109

    Couple (without children)

    $1,604

    Couple (with children)

    $1,922

    Sole parent 1 child

    $1,566

    Sole parent 2+ children

    $1,846

  • What you can get

    How much you get depends on the amount of rent you owe. The most you can get is $4,000 and you'll need to pay it back.

    You can only get this payment once in 12 months, unless there are exceptional situations, eg:

    • sickness or injury, or
    • you're in a family violence situation, or
    • a victim of violent crime.
  • How to apply

    Step 1: Call us

    If you're:

    We'll book you an appointment to discuss your application.

    Step 2: There are some documents you’ll need to provide

    If you’re getting ongoing payments from us or have received payments from us in the last 6 months, you'll need to provide:

    • a letter or notice showing how much overdue rent you need to pay, from either:
      • your landlord
      • the Tenancy Tribunal, or
      • Tenancy Services
    • either:
      • the tenancy agreement with your signature on it, or
      • a tenancy order with your name on it.
    • proof of any changes in your situation, eg:
      • payslips for changes to income, or
      • birth certificates for new partners or children.

    If you aren’t getting ongoing payments from us, you’ll need to provide:

    • a letter or notice showing how much overdue rent you need to pay, from either:
      • your landlord
      • the Tenancy Tribunal, or
      • Tenancy Services
    • either:
      • the tenancy agreement with your signature on it, or
      • a tenancy order with your name on it.
    • proof of income, savings or investments for you and your partner (if you have one), eg:
      • an IRD summary
      • pay-slips, or
      • a letter from your employer
    • information about your non-cash assets (these don't include what you need for day-to-day living, eg your home or your car. They do include things like a caravan, boat or a second property)
    • your bank account number.
    • ID for you and your partner (if you have one) - this needs to be:
      • one type of Government issued ID, eg, a passport, birth certificate or driver’s licence, or
      • two types of secondary ID, eg, insurance or bank statements, or household bills
    • ID for your children (if you have them) - this needs to be their:
      • birth certificate, or
      • passport
    • proof that you’re a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, eg:
      • a birth certificate
      • a passport, or
      • citizenship papers.

    Step 3: You may need to fill in a form

    We'll let you know if you need to:

    • fill out a Rent Arrears Assistance form
    • get your landlord to fill out a Supplier Registration form so we can pay the rent arrears to them.
  • What happens next

    If your application’s approved, we’ll pay the rent arrears directly to your landlord.

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