No written tenancy agreement in place?

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When purchasing a property with existing long-term tenants and no written tenancy agreement in place, it's essential to understand your rights.

When you're purchasing a rental property with existing tenants, it's important to remember that you automatically inherit not just the tenants but the agreement, bond and all the terms that were in place when the tenants moved into this property.

No written tenancy agreement or bond lodgment details?

If you've done your due diligence right, you would have discovered this before purchasing the property. So you had time to discuss this with the seller. Technically if there is no physical written agreement in place, you need to talk to both the old landlord and tenants to understand what was agreed upon at the start of the tenancy. It's advisable then to write it down and create a written document that your tenants are happy to sign in acknowledgment of what was agreed.

Can you change the terms?

Legally, no, not without creating a new tenancy agreement. However, the terms can be revised by mutual agreement (in other words, if your tenants are happy with it)

Can you end the tenancy in place if you don't like the terms?

Yes, but only by providing tenants with the right notice. In case it's a periodic tenancy, you have to give tenants 90-days notice in writing. A fixed term tenancy cannot be terminated early by either a landlord or a tenant unless by mutual consent.

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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