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How To Break A Fixed Term Tenancy Early By Mutual Consent

Photo: New Plymouth - Coastal Walkway II by Gonzalo Baeza

Tenants nor landlords can give notice to end fixed term tenancy early. However, a fixed contract can be terminated if all parties named on the tenancy agreement agreed to it.

Landlords and tenants can agree to end the tenancy early

Life happens. Unfortunately, relationships break up, work offers fall through and family emergencies requiring relocation occur. If tenants’ circumstances change they should approach their landlord and see if they can come up to an agreement to change the end date of their tenancy. A landlord must agree that the tenants are to be released of their contract at an earlier date and choose to attach special but reasonable conditions to the agreement if applicable.

The tenants and landlord need to agree on whether the current agreement will continue until new tenants are found, and whether these new tenants will take over the remaining lease or a brand-new agreement (fixed term or periodic) will be created.

As part of landlord’s consent, they may require current tenants to cover all reasonable costs associated with property advertisement and finding tenants (such as property listing fees and background checks); as well as requiring current tenants to continue paying rent until the replacement tenants are found.

During the assignment process, both tenants and landlords still need to meet their obligations and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancy Act.

If both parties are happy with the newly proposed arrangement and any special conditions attached, it is important to put it in writing.

What if you can’t agree?

If unforeseen circumstances cause landlords or tenants serious hardship if the tenancy continues, they can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to end the fixed-term contract early

To learn more about this topic, head to Tenancy Service

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