Policy on main tenant going to prision
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From: Claire Smith
Dear Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities,
Could you please tell me what your policy is in keeping a tenancy going if the only tenant of the place is sent to prison.
From: Kainga Ora Correspondence
Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities
Dear Ms Smith
Thank you for your request of 11 April 2020 asking what the Kāinga Ora policy is in keeping a tenancy going if the only tenant of the place is sent to prison.
Kāinga Ora does not have a policy specifically providing for our tenants to retain their state house while incarcerated. These situations are managed through tenancy management policies and the tenancy agreement - which outlines the requirement for the tenant to occupy and take responsibility for the tenancy, including paying the rent.
The incarceration of the tenancy holder is likely to preclude them from being able to meet these tenancy obligations. In such situations, Kāinga Ora first seeks to verify the status of the tenant’s situation and the duration of their sentence by contacting the tenant or their family and/or Police and the Department of Corrections.
Unless the period of incarceration is short term, Kāinga Ora may seek to end the tenancy for non-occupancy/abandonment.
While Kāinga Ora aims to support our tenants to sustain their tenancies, holding properties vacant for an incarcerated tenant must be balanced against the fairness to others in need of state housing.
Where the tenancy holder is incarcerated but other household members require housing, a process will be worked through with the Ministry of Social Development to test the household members’ eligibility for state housing. This could result in the tenancy being passed to the remaining family members if appropriate.
Principal Advisor, Government Relations
Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities