COVID-19: Information for tenants and landlords

On Monday 23 March 2020 the Government announced a freeze to residential rent increases and greater protections for tenants against having their tenancies terminated. This was applied as law through insertion of a new temporary Schedule 5 in the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 via the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Act 2020.

In the wake of COVID-19, many Kiwis will be struggling financially. It’s more important than ever to ensure that tenancies are sustained, and tenants do not have to face the prospect of homelessness.

UPDATE - 18 June 2020: The restrictions on tenancy terminations are not being extended beyond 25 June. This means the usual termination rules will reapply from 26 June 2020. Landlords may terminate a tenancy if they have the lawful grounds to do so. The rent increase freeze remains in place up until and including 25 September 2020.

Please note:

  • There is now a freeze on rent increases.
  • A rent increase notice from a landlord before 26 March 2020 will not have the effect of increasing a tenant’s rent during the period until 26 September. However, a rent increase notice given now can take effect after that date unless further legislation is passed.
  • Protections against tenancy terminations apply from 26 March 2020 to 25 June 2020. From 26 June, the usual rules around terminating tenancies now apply.

Published: June 18, 2020

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