Giving notice

Question from Deepti updated on 8th February 2013:

I'd like to end the tenancy with my tenants as they are constantly late in paying their rent. Despite my repeated requests for them to pay me weekly they keep paying me either fortnightly or three weekly and sometimes I have to repeatedly follow up for rent. I have decided that I wish to terminate their tenancy upon notice. Can you please advise how to go about this without the least possible conflict.

Our expert Alan Bruce responded:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) landlords can give notice to tenants to terminate a periodic tenancy (one that is not for a fixed length of time) or a boarding house tenancy. Fixed term tenancies cannot be ended with notice but can be ended early by coming to a mutual agreement with the tenants (or by the Tenancy Tribunal in limited circumstances). A periodic tenancy agreement can be terminated by the landlord giving a minimum of 90 days written notice to the tenants. A boarding house tenancy can be terminated by a landlord giving their tenants a minimum of 28 days written notice. Notices to terminate a tenancy must contain certain information and service time must be allowed for. Where a tenant has breached the tenancy agreement (for example if one of the terms of your agreement is that the rent is to be paid weekly) or a provision of the Act, if the breach is capable of remedy, landlords can serve tenants with 14 days written notice requiring the tenant to remedy the breach. If the tenant does not comply with the notice the landlord can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to terminate the tenancy. As the notice must be in writing, service times must be allowed for (as outlined above) and a copy of the notice retained. A template for 14-days notice and information about service times can be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment – Building and Housing Group’s website (http://www.dbh.govt.nz/pub-sorting-out-problems). To discuss your situation further or for information about making an application to the Tenancy Tribunal you can visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment – Building and Housing Group’s website (www.dbh.govt.nz), or call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

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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