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Property Management: Giving Notice to End a Tenancy

Property Management: Giving Notice to End a Tenancy
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Ending a periodic tenancy doesn’t need to be complicated. Landlords don’t evict tenants all the time, but it happens. And when it does, it is necessary to do so.

Of course, there are legal considerations before you can evict anyone, and its common courtesy to give notice to end a periodic tenancy. This is also required by law.

When you send out a notice to end a tenancy make sure it must be in writing and must include the following:

  • State the address of the tenancy
  • Declare the date of the end of the tenancy
  • As a landlord, you must sign the notice or whoever you choose to authorize to give the notice.

Just some basics on how the end of a periodic tenancy is initiated:

When a tenant decides to leave, they must give the landlord at least 21 days’ written notice to end the tenancy, unless they have spoken to the landlord and in writing, agrees to a shorter period.

If the tenancy is ending anyway as stated in the tenancy agreement.  It’s still good to be proactive and let your landlord know you’ll be leaving at the end date agreed upon. This also gives them ample time to do a final walkthrough and prepare your security deposit.

When a landlord decides a tenant should go (for any specific reason), they must give at least 90 days’ written notice to end the tenancy.

There are special circumstances where landlords can give just 42 days’ notice. Reasons vary from a property owner’s family moving into the property or the said rental being sold and the buyer initiates ‘vacant possession’.

For multiple tenants, it’s always a block decision. When one tenant wants to move out and gives the landlord notice, this means the end of the tenancy for all the tenants. So make sure to inform multiple tenants who signed on the tenancy agreement of this clause before they even move in. Some landlords often think all tenants are aware of this, and though they should be aware, most do not know about this rule until one of them moves out.

For any landlord giving notice you must state your reason for the end of tenancy in writing. The reason must be valid and genuine. It bodes well to be considerate. Otherwise, a tenant can challenge your reason for the notice through the Tenancy Tribunal.

Handling a Fixed-Term Tenancy Eviction

Landlords and tenants can mutually agree to end a fixed-term contract early, but these special conditions must be attached and put into writing, and of course, signed by both parties. The key is mutual consent. If one side doesn’t agree, they can always take it to Tenancy Tribunal to get things sorted.

If the landlord incurs fees, such as advertising for new tenants, due to the fixed term contract ending early, the landlord can bill the tenant. All fees should be reasonable and should state the actual cost of the service.

Ending a Tenancy during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Coronavirus Crisis and the State of the New Zealand Rental Market

To keep up with the times, the government has released crisis measures under the COVID-19 response Amendment Act. In line with this, landlords are not able to end tenancies, regardless of whether the notice was provided before the lockdown measures. Tenants that have received notice may choose to stay in their rental properties. Starting 26 March 2020, these limitations will run for a period of three months until the crisis measures are lifted.

Decisions surrounding evictions are not easy, nor drama free. As a landlord you may choose to closely supervise how to tie up any loose ends.

To create a smooth transition, landlords often hire well-experienced property management firms that can handle the tenancy eviction without much trouble. Rental property management agents like RentalsCo are far more accustomed to vacancy transitions. They have had lots of practice dealing with the comings and goings of tenants.

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RentalsCo can make an orderly move happen by having the current tenant understand the terms of their tenancy, and even welcome the new tenant coming in so you don’t need to worry about the tenant turnover period. RentalsCo keep matters professional and understand the legislation, including legislations brought in as a result of a pandemic.

Got an end of tenancy situation? You may reach RentalsCo at 09 459 7139 or email us at info@rentalexperts.co.nz.