42-day notice timing?

Question from Moana updated on 6th March 2013:

My daughter was served a 42-day notice to vacate her rental property (for family to move in) after asking her landlord to refund line rental charges over and above water usage. She filed a retaliatory claim but it can't be heard until after the date she has to move. Any feedback would be appreciated?

Our expert Alan Bruce responded:

If a tenant is given notice to terminate a tenancy and the tenant feels that it has been given in retaliation for exercising any of their rights under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act), the tenant has the right to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for an order declaring the notice to terminate the tenancy to be of no effect. Where a tenant vacates the premises on expiry of any notice given and before a scheduled Tribunal hearing, the applicant can also seek the reimbursement of any costs associated with vacating the property. Any application for costs should be accompanied by invoices, quotes or receipts substantiating the claim, and the awarding of these costs would at the discretion of the Adjudicator and dependent on the outcome of the application. To discuss your daughter’s situation further, or for further information about retaliatory notice, you can visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website (www.dbh.govt.nz), or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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