It's been a rollercoaster of a few months. On 24 March as New Zealand was going into lockdown, the Government responded to the development by introducing the Covid-19 Response (Urgent Management) Act. As part of these legislative measures, the freeze on residential rental increases for six months and limits on tenancy terminations have been introduced.
The situation in New Zealand has now moved on since the legislation was first implemented and this week the Government has announced changes to restrictions they've put in place earlier.
Restrictions on tenancy terminations to end on 25 June
The Government announced that the temporary ban on termination will not be extended. This means the usual termination rules will re-apply from 26 June 2020. Landlords may terminate a tenancy if they have the lawful grounds to do so.
Landlords cannot give any termination notices until after 25 June 2020.
Rent increase notices can be served now provided the increase takes effect after the six-month freeze period.
Many landlords' rent increase notices were revoked due to the urgent Covid-19 legislation introduced on 25 March.
The six-month rent increase freeze was implemented to help soften the blow for people facing potential financial hardship brought by COVID-19 pandemic.
The rent increase notices can now be given as long as the increase takes effect after 25 September (unless the emergency Covid-19 legislation is extended).
The rent increase freeze still remains in place up until and including 25 September 2020.
A landlord must give their tenant at least 60 days' written notice of a rent increase. Boarding house landlords must give their tenant at least 28 days' written notice.
UPDATE: From 12 August 2020, rent increases are limited to once every 12 months. This is a change from once every 180 days (six months). There continues to be a freeze on rent increases, which means landlords cannot increase rent until after 25 September 2020. Landlords can now send noticed to increase rent as long as it takes effect AFTER 25th September.
We hope these recent changes indicate that the industry has turned a corner and that extreme times we have all experienced are genuinely coming to an end.