26 March 2021

Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) affect how tenancies can be ended. The changes have been made to give tenants more security in their homes.

Use our decision tool to understand how these changes work in particular situations.

Decision tool: How much notice do you have to give?

Changes to ending periodic tenancies

From 11 February 2021, landlords can no longer end a periodic tenancy without cause by providing 90 days’ notice. Landlords can only end tenancies in specific situations.

For example, landlords can give the following notices:

  • 63 days’ written notice (at least) if the owner or a member of the owner’s family will be moving into the property as their main residence within 90 days from the end of the tenancy; or
  • 90 days’ written notice (at least) if the owner is doing one of the following within 90 days from the end of the tenancy:
    • putting the property on the market for sale
    • demolishing the property
    • carrying out extensive renovations and the tenant can’t live there while these are done.

Tenants now have to give 28 days’ notice (at least) to end a periodic tenancy. This is a change from 21 days’ notice.

Changes to ending fixed-term tenancies

Fixed-term tenancies automatically convert to periodic tenancies when they end unless the landlord or tenant gives notice. You cannot give notice to end a fixed-term tenancy earlier than the expiry date.

Recent changes to the Act change the requirements around giving notice to end a fixed-term tenancy at its expiry (if the tenancy was signed on or after 11 February 2021).

For fixed-term tenancies signed before 11 February 2021

The rules about giving notice remain the same as they were before 11 February 2021.

If the landlord or tenant doesn’t want it to become a periodic tenancy, they need to give written notice saying this. The notice must be given between 90 and 21 days before the expiry date of the fixed term.

For fixed-term tenancies signed on or after 11 February 2021

If the tenant doesn’t want the fixed-term to become a periodic tenancy when it expires, they will need to give at least 28 days’ written notice before the fixed-term expiry date.

If the landlord doesn’t want it to become a periodic tenancy, they need to give a prescribed reason for ending it and provide notice based on the requirements of that reason. The reasons are the same as for ending a periodic tenancy, for example:

  • 63 days’ written notice (at least) if the owner or a member of the owner’s family will be moving into the property as their main residence within 90 days from the end of the tenancy; or
  • 90 days’ written notice (at least) if the owner is doing one of the following within 90 days from the end of the tenancy:
    • putting the property on the market for sale
    • demolishing the property
    • carrying out extensive renovations and the tenant can’t live there while these are done.

Use our decision tool to find out how these changes work in different situations.

Decision tool: How much notice do you have to give?

Back to News
Rating form

Did you find this information helpful?

For general enquiries please contact us