Can I terminate a fixed-term tenancy by notice?
Question from Vamsee updated on 10th December 2010:
Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:
Fixed-term tenancy agreements cannot be terminated by notice. A fixed term can only be ended early by mutual agreement between the landlord and tenant, or by the Tenancy Tribunal in certain circumstances (i.e. where there has been an unforeseen change in one party’s circumstances that will cause that party financial hardship that outweighs the financial hardship of the other party - the Tenancy Tribunal can also award compensation to the other party in this situation).
Where both parties agree to end the term early, the tenant(s) can still be responsible for rent until a new tenant is found, or the expiry of the fixed-term (whichever is earlier). You may wish to discuss the option of assisting your landlord in finding a new tenant to quicken the process.
To discuss your situation further, or for information about fixed term tenancies, you can visit the Department of Building and Housing website (www.dbh.govt.nz), or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).
The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.