Ending fixed term tenancies

Question from john updated on 4th July 2016:

Is it possible to end a fixed term tenancy by giving notice that a family member needs to move into the property? Or only through agreement? What other ways are open to a landlord?

Our expert Allan Galloway responded:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, a fixed term tenancy cannot be ended by either party giving notice to terminate the contract before the agreed end date.

Fixed-term tenancies can only be ended early: • by mutual agreement between all the people on the agreement (the landlord and all tenants), or • if the property undergoes a mortgagee sale, or • in certain circumstances, by Order of the Tenancy Tribunal. Where a landlord and tenant(s) agree to terminate a fixed term tenancy early (including any terms and conditions agreed to), the details of that agreement should be recorded in writing, preferably on the tenancy agreement.

For further information regarding landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities, you can visit our website at www.tenancy.govt.nz or subscribe to our tenancy landlord e-newsletter at www.tenancy.govt.nz/subscribe.

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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