Can we be evicted if the house sells?

Question from Simon updated on 13th May 2011:

We have been renting our property for the last 5 months and are in a 12 month fixed term tenancy. Our landlord has recently decided to put the house on the market. What are our rights in this situation and can we be evicted if the house sells?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Fixed term tenancies cannot be terminated by notice. Where a property sells that has tenants with an existing fixed term tenancy in place, the new owner would inherit the fixed term tenancy, along with all the existing terms and conditions.

In this situation a new owner may want to negotiate with the tenant to see if they can agree to end the term at an earlier date, as fixed term tenancies can be ended by mutual consent. If both parties mutually agree to end the fixed term earlier, the details of any such agreement should be recorded in writing.

To discuss your situation further, or for further 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.

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