Company tenancy notice

Question from simon updated on 25th February 2019:

We own several properties under a company entity, due to tax reasons. We have given 42 day notice to one tenant as we are moving into the house. The Tenancy Tribunal has ruled this is illegal as a Company cannot give 42 days notice as it is not a person. We should have given 90 days notice. I have read the Act and can not see where this is stated. What is your opinion?

 

Our expert Jennifer Sykes responded:

The Tenancy Tribunal has the authority under the Residential Tenancies Act to make a legally binding order where there is a dispute that cannot be resolved or where a party to a tenancy agreement thinks that the RTA has not been correctly applied.

Section 51 of the RTA sets out the ways in which tenancies can be terminated by notice. For example, section 51(1)(a) states that 42 days’ notice is required where the owner of the premises requires the premises as the principal place of residence for the owner or any member of that owner’s family - otherwise 90 days’ notice is required.

This means that a company itself cannot move into the premises, since the landlord is a company entity and not a natural person. A company would also not have family members. Therefore the provisions of the Act that allow less notice to be given to end the tenancy when the owner or a family member of the owner needs to occupy the premises would not apply.

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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