42 days notice concern

Question from Stacey updated on 6th July 2018:

We have been given 42 days notice. However , in conversation, the landlord stated he was going to do the place up first and that his family member hadn't agreed to definitely move in. We understand the landlord wants to renovate but can they legally give us 42 days when the family member isn't moving in straight away?

Our expert Jennifer Sykes responded:

A periodic tenancy may be ended with 42 days’ notice for the following reasons:

• the owner requires the premises back as the principal place of residence for themselves or any member of their family;

• the property has been sold with an unconditional contract and the purchaser requires vacant possession;

• the property is normally used as employee accommodation and is required for that purpose and this is clearly stated in the tenancy agreement.

In any other case landlords are required to give 90 days’ written notice to terminate a periodic tenancy, but they do not need to specify the reason for the notice.

An owner is not able to terminate the tenancy with 42 days’ notice if they or their family member will be maintaining a principal place of residence elsewhere during the renovations. The owner or the family member who requires the property would generally be required to use the property as their principal place of residence while carrying out the work. They must intend to continue to use the property as their principal place of residence once the renovations are complete.

A tenant should discuss their concerns with the landlord in the first instance if they think the reason for the notice may not be genuine. A notice of 42 days’ will remain valid so long as the landlord has an appropriate reason for giving it at the time it was given. If they are unable to agree on a way to settle the matter between themselves, then either party may make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal to have the matter resolved.

For more on the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, go to www.tenancy.govt.nz or subscribe to our e-newsletter Tenancy Matters here

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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