Tenancy termination negotiations
Question from Ray updated on 17th July 2017:
I need to move back into my home that I have been renting out. I anticipated using the 42 day rule. However, I have just been told that the latest tenant was given a two year fixed term contract by a staff member of the property management agency I employ. That person has since left the company. I am being told that I need to reach an agreement with the tenant. What happens if this involves me in costs? I didn't authorise the fixed term contract so can I seek recompense from the property management agency?
Our expert Bernard Parker responded:
The tenancy was started by your agent, the property management company. The tenant is entitled to rely on the tenancy agreement – and has the right to stay for the duration of the fixed term. If you wish to vary that agreement you will need to talk with the tenant and see if you can agree an alternative termination date. If you can’t agree, the tenancy continues.
You could ask the Tenancy Tribunal to terminate the agreement, but you would have to show that you have incurred an unforeseen change in circumstances which causes you severe hardship to have the tenancy continue. If your agent has committed you beyond their authority you will need to come to a satisfactory agreement with the property management company about any costs that may be incurred as a result. If you can’t agree on a remedy, you may apply to the Disputes Tribunal for a decision.
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.