Residential Tenancies can be a minefield for landlords and not serving the correct notices can see landlords in unwanted and easily avoidable trouble.

Terminating your tenancy agreement 

To terminate a periodic residential tenancy, landlords have to serve tenants with a termination notice of 90 days (three months), unless this timeframe is shortened to 42 days (six weeks) by one of the statutory exemptions. However, the notice period for tenants is much shorter at 21 days (three weeks).

Landlords may, therefore, elect to enter into a fixed term tenancy to create certainty of the term. Because a fixed term tenancy ends on a certain date, landlords know how long they can expect their tenants to be renting their property. At the end of a fixed term tenancy, the landlord and the tenant have the chance to decide whether they would like to enter into a new tenancy agreement or part ways. This flexibility is seen as beneficial to landlords and tenants, and so has become an increasingly popular form of renting out residential properties.

Knowing your tenancy agreement

Many landlords may not know that fixed-term tenancies will automatically become periodic tenancies if the appropriate notice has not been served. If a new tenancy agreement is not entered into, under the Residential Tenancies Act landlords must serve tenants with a termination notice no earlier than 90 days and no later than 21 days prior to the fixed term tenancy ending.

If adequate notice is not served, the tenancy will become periodic, which means that a 90 day (three months) notice to terminate the tenancy will apply.

It is important for landlords to be aware of all landlord obligations, prior, during and especially towards the end of residential tenancies. 

For More Information:

If you are a residential landlord and want to terminate a tenancy, or you are about to become a landlord and want to ensure that you are equipped to deal with all aspects of residential tenancies without any undesirable surprises, please contact our Wellington property lawyers – Jamie Nunns, email Jamie.nunns@morrisonkent.com, phone (04) 495 8912 or Suz Kuru, email suz.kuru@morrisonkent.com, phone (04) 896 0727.