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Giving the correct notice to end a tenancy agreement

15 May 2018

Photo: Road to Mount Cook.NZ by [Bernard Spragg. NZ](>

The notice you need to give to end a tenancy agreement depends on the type of agreement and wether you are the landlord or tenant.

Disclaimer: This information is designed to give guidance for a typical NZ residential tenancy however it does not cover special circumstances or types of tenancies like boarding houses, serviced tenancies, sort-term tenancies, flatmates and some other cases.

Ending a fixed-term tenancy

If you have a fixed-term tenancy neither the landlord or tenant can terminate the tenancy early. Upon expiry, the tenancy continues as a periodic tenancy.

If the landlord or tenant want to end a fixed-term agreement early then they can do so by mutual agreement but neither party can force the other. The landlord can charge the tenant a fee for ending the tenancy early but this can only be for actual and reasonable costs, like the cost to re-advertise the property.

On 11th February 2021 the Government's Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2020 will be in force. All fixed-term tenancy agreements will convert to periodic tenancies upon expiry unless:
- a landlord gives notice using the reasons listed in the RTA for periodic tenancies
- a tenant gives notice for any reason at least 28 days before the end of the tenancy
- the parties agree to extend, renew or end the fixed-term tenancy
- for some fixed-term tenancies, 63 days’ notice will be required from the landlord, and for other situations, 90 days’ notice will be required.

Ending a periodic tenancy

A periodic tenancy is an agreement that has no fixed end date or a fixed term tenancy with an end date that is in the past. To end an agreement that is periodic or has become periodic the tenant needs to give 28 days' notice. If the landlord has a reason to terminate the tenancy (and such reason is listed in the RTA), then a 63-day or 90-day notice can be given. This is if the landlord has sold the property, the landlord or the landlord's family member is moving in or the property is normally used for employee accommodation and is needed again for that purpose.

Ending the tenancy via the Tenancy Tribunal

In special circumstances the landlord or tenant can apply to have the tenancy agreement ended by the tribunal, this is usually only considered if there is severe hardship or there has been a significant change that adversely affects the tenancy. The tribunal MIGHT also consider ending the agreement if there is a breach of the tenancy agreement.

Giving notice correctly

Notice to end a tenancy can be given on any day of the week. This date does not need to match the day of the week the tenancy began or when rent is paid. The notice must always be given in writing, include the address of the tenancy, the date the tenancy will end and be signed but the person giving notice.

Tenancy law provides timeframes for when it considers notices to have been received. These times depend on how the notice was delivered.
- If notice is given in person you do not need to allow for any extra days.
- If the notice is put in the letterbox then you need to allow 2 extra working days.
- If delivered to a PO BOX - 4 extra working days
- If you are emailing the notice then no need to allow for extra days if sent before 5pm, but allow 1 extra day if emailed after 5pm.

Giving notice with myRent

If you have a tenancy that is managed my myRent then you can give notice from your dashboard by going to Settings then clicking on End tenancy. myRent will guide you through the process, provide the forms you need to complete and deliver the notice for you.

The information contained in this article is exclusively for promotional purposes. It does not in any way constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as the basis for any legal action or contractual dealings. The information is not, and does not attempt to be, a comprehensive account of the relevant law in New Zealand. If you require legal advice you should seek independent legal counsel. does not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.

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What the community has to say
  • CP

    This was written in 2018, time to update you article with changes, eg periodic was amended to 28 days. Also valuable is any tenant in a periodic can terminate the lease and is one way to get rid of problem tenants, one notice terminates whole tenancy.

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