Find out how much notice to give, and what you need to do, at the end of your boarding house tenancy.
Important COVID-19 information for boarding houses: New rules regarding rent increases and ending tenancies have been introduced while the country fights COVID-19.
If a boarding house landlord needs to end a tenancy, they will only be able to do so for specific reasons, by giving 28 days’ notice. These reasons are:
- the tenant has caused, or threatened to cause, serious damage to the property
- the tenant has endangered, or threatened to endanger, people or property
- the tenant has caused, or threatened to cause, serious disruption to other tenants
- the tenant is using the property for an illegal purpose.
If the tenant has abandoned the tenancy, a boarding house landlord can end the tenancy with 48 hours’ notice by following the normal process.
A boarding house landlord will still need to go to the Tribunal to end a tenancy because of rent arrears (if the rent is at least 60 days behind) or anti-social behaviour.
Landlords and tenants should talk to each other, work together and take care of each other wherever possible. Try to come to an arrangement that suits everyone. We need to work together and help each other to fight COVID-19.
General information on ending a boarding house tenancy
In a boarding house tenants rent single rooms or a sleeping area in a room they share with other tenants. They also share any facilities, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
A boarding house tenant can end their tenancy with 48 hours’ notice. Even though this notice doesn’t have to be in writing, it’s a good idea for tenants to put it in writing and keep a copy for themselves.
A boarding house landlord normally needs to give the tenant 28 days’ written notice. There are some exceptions to this.
A boarding house landlord can end the tenancy immediately if the tenant has:
- caused, or threatened to cause, serious damage to the boarding house
- endangered, or threatened to endanger, people or property
- caused, or threatened to cause, serious disruption to other tenants.
The landlord can end the tenancy with 48 hours’ written notice if:
- the tenant doesn’t pay overdue rent within 10 days of receiving a notice to do so
- the tenant has used, or allowed the boarding house to be used, for an illegal purpose
- the rent is overdue and the landlord believes the tenant has abandoned the room (after inspecting the room and, if possible, making contact with the tenant’s contact person (if any).
What the tenant must do at the end of their tenancy
At the end of the tenancy, the tenant must:
- leave the boarding house
- remove all their private property
- leave their room in a reasonably clean and tidy condition, and remove all rubbish
- return any keys, pass cards and other security devices to the landlord
- leave behind everything (such as furniture) that the landlord provided for tenants to use.
If a tenant abandons the boarding house
If a tenant has overdue rent, and the landlord believes they have abandoned the boarding house, the landlord:
- can put a notice on the tenant’s door. This notice advises the tenant that the landlord will enter the room in 24 hours to confirm whether or not the tenant has abandoned the tenancy
- must make all reasonable efforts to contact the contact person (if any) identified in the tenancy agreement.
The landlord must not enter the room until at least 24 hours after putting the notice on the door.
Once the landlord has inspected the room and believes the tenancy has been abandoned, they must give the tenant a further 48 hours’ notice to end the tenancy. This notice must be placed on the door of the room and include the time and date that the tenancy will end.
If a tenant dies
A boarding house tenancy ends 48 hours after the death of a sole tenant under the tenancy.