Rent arrears eviction

Question from Aimee updated on 9th May 2018:

I have had tenants in a self contained unit since March. They have been late on 15 of their 20 weekly payments since they have been living here and have gone 21 days in arrears twice. I have a Tenancy Tribunal court date but I am worried that they will not evict them since they are not currently 21 days in arrears. (They frantically back paid after receiving the court date from the Tribunal). Do you have any advice to ensure that I get them evicted? 

Our expert Jennifer Sykes responded:

Sections 55 and 56 of the Residential Tenancies Act sets out how a tenancy can be ended by the Tenancy Tribunal when it considers an application for rent arrears.

If the rent was 21 days or more in arrears at the time the application was made, the Tribunal has the ability to terminate the tenancy agreement. However, if the rent was less than 21 days in arrears, the Tribunal may look at other penalties for late payments or non-payment of rent, such as a Monetary Order. Any admissible evidence provided with the Tenancy Tribunal application will be taken into consideration at the hearing.

If a 14-day Notice to Remedy (otherwise known as a breach letter) has been served to the tenants each time the rent has been in arrears, then you can take along copies of these letters to the hearing in support of your claim. Tenancy Services recommends taking the original copy of the tenancy agreement, and three copies of all other supporting documents.

For more on the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, including information the Tenancy Tribunal process, go to www.tenancy.govt.nz or subscribe to our e-newsletter Landlord News.

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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