Please note: Articles on this website were originally published by in 2015 and may now be out of date. Revised and updated content is included in Civil Litigation for Non-Lawyers [available here]Disclaimer

On this page:

  • Commencing a claim in the Tenancy Tribunal
  • Getting an application form
  • Completing an application form
  • Relevant documents
  • Filing an application form
  • Application form checklist
  • Acceptance, rejection or requisition

Claims in the Tenancy Tribunal begin when an application form is filed with Tenancy Services together with the $20.44 application fee.

It may be worthwhile to get advice before making a claim to the Tenancy Tribunal. You could consult a lawyer or approach Tenancy Services at one of their offices or by phoning 0800 TENANCY (0800 83 62 62). Tenancy Services offices:

Auckland: Level 8, 280 Queen Street

Manukau: 7 Ronwood Avenue

Hamilton: Level 3, Westpac House, 430 Victoria Street

Wellington: Level 1, 205 Victoria Street

Christchurch: Level 2, 10 Nelson Street, Riccarton

Getting an application form

You can complete and submit a claim form online through the Tenancy Services website: Alternatively, you could pick up a form from a Tenancy Services office or possibly a Citizens Advice Bureau. You could also order a claim form from Tenancy Services by phoning 0800 TENANCY (0800 83 62 62).

The $20.44 application fee is payable to Tenancy Services. You can pay the fee on the Tenancy Services website:, at one of its offices, at any Westpac Bank branch or, if you are positing your application, by including the fee with your application. Any cheque would need to be made out to Tenancy Services.

Completing an application form

Applications should include:

1. Your name.

2. Your address.

3. A contact phone number that the Tribunal could reach you on.

4. The name of the party, or each party, that you are bringing your claim against.

5. A description of each party you are claiming against.

6. The street address of each party you are claiming against.

7. A postal address for each party you are claiming against (if known).

8. A phone number for each party you are claiming against (if known).

9. A description of the dispute, including:

9.1. the events that led to the dispute;

9.2. when those events happened;

9.3. where the events happened;

9.4. who was involved in the events and the dispute; and

9.5. what loss was caused or damage done.

10. Your position on the dispute.

11. The reasons for why you have taken your position on the dispute.

12. A description of the things you have done to try to resolve the dispute.

13. A description of the other party’s position on the dispute, or the other parties’ positions if there is more than one other party involved.

14. Your signature.

15. The date you completed the application form.

See those parts of this text dealing with statements of claim for more about how to go about explaining your position and why you have taken that position.

Relevant documents

You should also include copies of any relevant document with your application. See those parts of this text about  for more about the kinds of documents that could be relevant and how you might submit them in a bundle of documents. It is important to stress that you would only be submitting copies of documents at this point. You should retain the originals for yourself.

Filing an application form

There are 4 ways to file a Tenancy Tribunal application form:

1. Online

If you completed your application form online then you should file it in accordance with the online instructions. See the Tenancy Services website for more about this: Have your Visa or Mastercard handy for paying the $20.44 application fee.

2. Email

You can email a completed application form to See the cover letter template below for some idea of what you might communicate with your completed application form.

3. In person

You could approach Tenancy Services to file the application form (and supporting documents and filing fee) at one of its offices. It may simplify matters for all concerned if you approached the office that is either closest to where you live, closest to where another party lives or, if a party is a business, closest to where that party carries on business.

Approaching a Tenancy Services office with your completed claim form could be worthwhile if you are unsure about some part of your application: You could take the opportunity to raise your queries with staff and perhaps correct some error there and then. However, keep in mind that you can telephone Tenancy Services and ask questions. That might save you a trip if you have made some serious error.

As for the $20.44 filing fee, ensure any cheque is made out to Tenancy Services.

4. Post

You can post the application form (with a cover letter and filing fee) to Tenancy Services at PO Box 50546, Porirua. See the mailed cover letter template below if you are unsure about what you might put in your cover letter or simply want to save time writing one up.

Keep in mind that any cheque for the $20.44 filing fee is made out Tenancy Services.

Application form checklist

The things you should have at the point you are filing your claim form are:

1. Completed application form

2. A copy of the completed claim form to keep for yourself

3. Filing fee

4. Cover letter to go with the claim form (optional)

5. A copy of any cover letter to keep for yourself (optional)

6. Copies of any documents that are relevant to your claim

Acceptance, rejection or requisition 

When Tenancy Services receives a Tenancy Tribunal application form it will make a decision about whether to accept it, reject it or require something to be done before accepting it. There could be a jurisdictional issue for example, or that the filing fee has not been paid. If Tenancy Services rejects your application or requires something more then it should contact you to let you know.

Note: This content was originally published by in 2015. Disclaimer