I didn't sign the lease at my flat, but my flatmates added me anyway. Am I bound by the lease?

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Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

It depends whether your flatmates added your name to the agreement on your behalf and with your consent, or without your consent. Although a tenancy agreement is required to be in writing, the fact that any part of it is NOT in writing does not necessarily make that part invalid.

If you have moved into the flat on the clear understanding that you were all co-tenants, (including signing for a share of the deposited bond), then you are likely to be regarded as a tenant and, therefore, liable under the tenancy agreement. However, if it was clear to the landlord from the start that you were only an occupant and you never intended to sign the tenancy agreement, you will probably not be regarded as a tenant.

If you need more help, you can call 0800 TENANCY for free information, or talk to your local Community Law Centre about advice options: www.communitylaw.org.nz.

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