There are particular rules to help landlords and tenants when properties are damaged in a natural disaster, such as a flood.

Partial destruction of premises

Where the premises are partially destroyed, or part of the premises is so seriously damaged as to be uninhabitable:

  1. the rent shall abate accordingly; and
  2. either party may apply to the Tribunal for an order terminating the tenancy, and the Tribunal may make such an order if it is satisfied that it would be unreasonable to require the landlord to reinstate the property or (as the case may require) to require the tenant to continue with the tenancy albeit at a reduced rent.

Destruction of premises

In a natural disaster, if the premises are destroyed, or are so seriously damaged as to be uninhabitable:

  1. the rent shall abate accordingly; and
  2. either party may give notice to the other terminating the tenancy.

This applies to both periodic and fixed-term tenancies.

In these circumstances, landlords need to give 7 days' notice and tenants need to give 2 days' notice.

Read information about destroyed premises on the Legislation website (external link)

Temporary accommodation

If you need to locate a suitable temporary accommodation option during repair or reinstatement work to your home, here are some useful tips from the Temporary Accommodation Service.

  1. The first thing to confirm is when and how long you’ll need to move out for – your builder or landlord will be able to provide you with the dates and details.
  2. If you have insurance, review your policy to determine what amount you have for temporary accommodation costs, furthermore, determine if this amount will need to cover any moving and storage costs as well as any kenneling of your pets if you can’t take them with you. Note: insurance policies vary widely between and within private insurers so you’re best to contact your insurer for entitlement information specific to your policy.
  3. Act promptly to avoid extra stress later on. Speak to friends, family, workmates and neighbours about your upcoming accommodation needs – word of mouth works.
  4. Set up a TradeMe, Holiday Houses, BookaBach search that emails any new properties to you each day, register with property management firms and check out local school and supermarket notice boards for available houses.
  5. If you are vacating your private rental on a temporary or permanent basis consider having a discussion with your landlord about transferring your bond to the next address.
  6. If you need help finding temporary accommodation following a natural disaster, register your details with the Temporary Accommodation Service (external link)