Rent arrears termination

John asks:
(updated on Friday, February 01st 2019)

Do I have to wait until the 14 days’ notice to remedy rent arrears expires before I can apply for a hearing? My tenant is continually behind in her rent (at the moment three weeks). Can I continue to the hearing even if she pays the arrears to have the tenancy terminated? It is a fixed term 12 month agreement.

 

 

Our Experts Answer:

A ‘14 day notice to remedy’ can be issued when there is a breach of the tenancy agreement. For example, rent up to 20 days overdue. A landlord does not have to wait until the end of the 14 days before making an application to the Tenancy Tribunal that also includes seeking termination of the tenancy. However the application will not be scheduled for mediation or a Tenancy Tribunal hearing until after the expiry date on the notice, in case the tenant complies and remedies the situation in that time.

If the tenant does comply within the 14-day notice, the landlord will be unable to pursue the termination of the tenancy and must contact Tenancy Services to withdraw their application. If a tenant does not comply with the 14-day notice, the landlord’s application will progress to mediation or a Tenancy Tribunal hearing to have the matter resolved.

If the tenant is behind on their rent by 21 days or more, a landlord can make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal for mediation or adjudication immediately without issuing a 14-day notice to remedy. In this situation, a request to terminate the tenancy can still be considered even if the rent is paid in full after the application is filed.

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.

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