Fixed term confusion

Question from Dwi updated on 9th April 2018:

I applied to rent a place back earlier this year. On my application I wrote down a six months fixed term for a certain date. But when the tenancy agreement came back the dates covered by the fixed term period cover seven months. I didn't pick it up before and just realized it last week. So I emailed the property manager who said that my tenancy is fixed for those dates, even though I emailed her my application form for six months.

I do understand that this is partly my fault because I didn't check the tenancy agreement carefully. But I feel misled by the tenancy agreement. The property manager has clarified that I am signed up for seven months. Her reason is that it is common for them to have tenancies up for renewal at that time as it is a good rental cycle. My question is - can I ask her to amend our tenancy agreement ? I just want to know where I stand in this case.




Our expert Bernard Parker responded:

The best advice anybody can give you is to read the tenancy agreement before you sign it. I can understand a property manager wanting to have tenancies ending at a particular time of the year to help spread out the workload of many tenancies ending at once. However, I would be surprised if this was not discussed at the time you signed the agreement.

If this is a genuine misunderstanding you should ask the property manager whether a six-month term can be agreed. It depends, however, upon the other party’s agreement. At this stage you are committed to seven months, the term specified when you signed the agreement.

Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.

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