Tenancy Termination Restrictions End8 Jul 2020

The emergency provisions relating to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 came to an end on 25 June 2020. This means that the usual termination rules apply from 26 June 2020.

On 24 March 2020, the Government announced emergency legislative changes which were designed to protect tenants as the country moved towards Alert Level 4. The provisions were initially implemented for three months from 26 March with the possibility of extending them for an additional three months. Whilst the legislation had great intentions during the early stages of the pandemic and gave tenants security during the Level 4 lockdown, the Government has decided not to extend the legislation beyond the initial three- month period.

While the tenancy termination restrictions are lifted, the rent freeze remains in place until 25 September 2020.

Landlords will need to give a new notice to terminate a tenancy from 26 June, giving the correct notice period under a fixed term or periodic tenancy.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some tenants may experience challenges with paying their rent due to loss of income. Increased Rent Arrears Assistance through the Ministry of Social Development is now available.

The Government has expanded the current rent arrears support by increasing the maximum amount payable and making the Rent Arrears Assistance more accessible.

This article is featured in Harcourts' Property Management Focus Newsletter Issue 6, 2020..