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Changes to notice periods

New termination reasons will be available to landlords under a periodic tenancy and the required notice periods will change. The following tables outline what’s changing.

Landlords terminating a periodic tenancy – changes to notice periods

Notices in the table below can be issued by the landlord without applying to the Tenancy Tribunal. Notice periods are in calendar days.

Use our decision tool to find out how much notice you have to give

Important note: if the notice of termination was given to the tenant before 11 February 2021, the previous notice periods still apply (see table below). 90-day notice letters to terminate for no cause are still effective if they were issued before 11 February.

Reason for termination Previous notice period Current notice period (from 11 Feb 2021)

Updated existing reasons

Owner moving in

  • The owner or a member of the owner’s family is going to live in the property within 90 days after termination date, for at least 90 days.

Employee accommodation

  • The property is normally used as employee accommodation and is needed again for that purpose (this must be stated in the tenancy agreement).
42 days 63 days

Sale of property

  • The owner is putting the property on the market within 90 days after termination date.
  • The property has been sold and the new buyer doesn’t want tenants.
42 days 90 days

New reasons

Changes to the property

  • The property was bought for the use of nearby land for a business activity and is required to be vacant for that purpose (this must be stated in the tenancy agreement).
  • The property is to be converted into commercial premises for at least 90 days.
  • Extensive renovations are to be carried out that would make it impractical for the tenant to live there (the landlord must take steps to begin this work within 90 days after termination date).
  • The property is to be demolished (the landlord must take steps to begin demolition within 90 days after termination date).
 N/A (new)  90 days

Landlords cannot act to terminate a tenancy without grounds

From 11 February 2021, it is an unlawful act for a landlord to give notice to terminate a tenancy or apply to the Tribunal for termination knowing that they are not entitled to (under any of the reasons in the Residential Tenancies Act).

This is outlined in new section 60AA of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (New Zealand Legislation website)

Tenants terminating a periodic tenancy – change to notice period

If the notice to end the tenancy was given to the landlord before 11 February 2021, tenants needed to give 21 days' notice. These notices are still effective.

From 11 February 2021, tenants must give 28 days' notice. This can be given for any reason, and the tenant does not need to tell the landlord the reason.

Use our decision tool to find out how much notice you have to give

Changes to reasons for termination

Terminating a periodic tenancy for three acts of anti-social behaviour

From 11 February 2021, landlords can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to terminate a periodic tenancy if they have issued three valid notices to a tenant for anti-social behaviour that has occurred in connection with the tenancy within a 90-day period.

For more information about how to deal with anti-social behaviour, including examples, see our fact sheet [PDF, 621 KB].

To use this reason for termination, the following conditions must be met:

  • the tenant, or a person in the property with the tenant's permission, has enagaged in three separate instances of anti-social behaviour in connection with the tenancy within a 90-day period
  • for every instance, the landlord gave the tenant written notice [PDF, 46 KB] (the notice must include certain details)
  • the landlord made an application to the Tenancy Tribunal within 28 days after the third notice was given.

Read updated section 55A of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (New Zealand Legislation website)

Terminating a periodic tenancy for three separate occasions of rent arrears

From 11 February 2021, landlords can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to terminate a periodic tenancy for rent arrears if the tenant has been at least five working days in rent arrears, on three separate occasions, within any 90-day period.

To use this reason for termination, the following conditions must be met:

  • the tenant has been at least five working days late with rent on three separate occasions within a 90-day period
  • on each occasion, the landlord gave the tenant written notice (the notice must include certain details)
  • the landlord made an application to the Tenancy Tribunal within 28 days after the third notice was given.

See our information on ending a tenancy due to rent arrears

Read updated section 55(1)(aa) of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (New Zealand Legislation website)

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