You don't have to pay rent for a house you can't live in

The Residential Tenancies Act, the law that governs rentals, says if your flat is destroyed, or so seriously damaged as to be uninhabitable, "the rent shall abate accordingly".

Abatement means your rent either totally or partially reduces, says Lucy Telfar Barnard, senior research fellow at the University of Otago housing and health research programme.  Please watch 1news for more details