17 June 2020

Current restrictions on tenancy terminations will end on 25 June 2020. From 26 June, landlords can give notice to terminate a tenancy under the standard Residential Tenancies Act 1986 provisions. Usual notice periods will apply from the day a notice is given.

During this time we encourage landlords and tenants to continue to work together and seek to come to a fair and workable agreement about rent arrears. Tenants who can’t pay their rent should let their landlord know straight away.

Tenancy Services has developed guidance to help with these discussions.

Guidance for rent negotiation discussions

Tenancy terminations

The COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Act 2020 (the Act) came into effect on 26 March this year. The Act amended the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 to support the Government’s response to the COVID-19 situation by imposing temporary restrictions on tenancy terminations and freezing rent increases.

While the tenancy termination restrictions will end on 25 June, the rent increase freeze remains in place. This means that landlords can’t increase rent for their rental properties until after 25 September 2020.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) - announcement on rent increase freeze and tenancy terminations

Support for rent arrears

Due to loss of employment income, some tenants may experience challenges with paying their rent. Increased Rent Arrears Assistance through the Ministry of Social Development is also now available for those who need it.

There are two temporary changes to support people who may be struggling to pay rent, which are increasing the maximum amount payable and making rent arrears assistance more accessible. More information is available on the Ministry for Social Development’s website.(external link)

Read questions and answers from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development(external link)

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