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Quitting a Tenancy

June 18, 2019 June 2019 No Comments

When a Tenancy ends it can be difficult , whether initiated by the Tenant or the Landlord. The Landlord inspects the property, addresses the bond involved & finds a new tenant. A Tenant has to find another home, organise furniture removal, change address at NZ Post , clean the property thoroughly, remove all possessions, pay final rent, leave & return all the keys , in order to get his bond back. A need is good communication between the Tenant and the Landlord.

If the Tenant is not caring for the property properly & the Landlord  believes the tenant is capable of cleaning the property up/able to fix damage the tenant has caused , Landlord may write to advise they have 14 consecutive days to make good poor care/ damage. Landlords : a sample “notice to remedy” & a lot more information is available on www.tenancy.govt.nz (Tenancy Services).  If the tenant does not attend to the problem, the Landlord may have the Tenancy Tribunal provide an order to make the Tenant do the work. 

If the work is still not done or the problem is very serious, the Tribunal can order an end to the tenancy. The Landlord cannot evict the tenant himself. Following an order by the Tenancy Tribunal to evict the tenant, the police will attend the eviction.

In a Periodic Tenancy :

  • Usually a normal period of notice from Landlord to Tenant is 90 days. An exception is when the Landlord has sold the home or requires it for himself or a family member. Then the period of notice is 42 days. If the Landlord is selling up , the tenant must be told in writing.
  • If the Tenant with a periodic tenancy wants to give the Landlord notice that he will be quitting the premises, the normal notice period is 21 days. The situation with a Fixed Term Tenancy is that it ends on the date of the end of the fixed term.

Immediately remove anything perishable and ask the Tenant to remove the other abandoned goods. If no action , the Landlord should assess the goods value, store them for 35 days and then sell them at a reasonable market price. (any personal papers should be stored for 35 days or handed to the Police but get a receipt ). If the tenant collects the goods within 35 days, they can expect to pay the cost of storage.

Doing everything right makes the  quitting less difficult & the Tenant should expect to get the bond refunded in full. The key to good Landlord / Tenant relations is “communicate” well.  

The Free A4 Tenancy Services booklet we have at Citizen’sAdvice Bureau is very helpful to both parties  – please ask us for one .  

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