Our Experts Answer:
When a house is sold, the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) sets out a number of ways that a periodic tenancy may be ended by either the new owner or the current landlord. Generally, landlords are required to give a minimum of 90 days’ notice to terminate a periodic tenancy, however, there are certain situations where a landlord may give 42-days notice, including: where the owner requires the premises for themselves or a family member to live; or where the tenancy agreement notes that the premises are generally used for employees of the landlord, and the premises are required for occupation by an employee; or where the owner is required under an unconditional agreement for the sale of the premises to provide vacant possession. Once they gain legal title to the premises, the new owner of the property can give a tenant 42-days written notice if they require the premises as their principal place of residence, or for any member of their family. The current landlord can give a tenant 42 days written notice to terminate a periodic tenancy agreement where an unconditional agreement for the sale of the premises requires the owner to give the purchaser vacant possession. In both cases the notice requirement is consecutive or calendar days. Where a landlord gives notice to terminate the tenancy and the tenant wishes to end the tenancy earlier, unless agreed otherwise, the tenant is still required to give a minimum of 21-days notice in writing. As a notice to terminate a periodic tenancy must be in writing, service times must be allowed for, and a copy of the notice retained. Information about service times can be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s website (http://www.dbh.govt.nz/tenancy-az-s). To discuss your situation further, or for information about terminating a tenancy, you can visit the Ministry’s website (www.dbh.govt.nz), or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).