No early out for a fixed term tenancy

For a variety of reasons, landlords sometimes wish to end a tenancy before its term has finished.

No early out agreement
  • 1 May, 2014
  • Landlords, Tenants

This can happen when the landlord decides to sell the property and wants it vacant during the sale process. Or, it may be a case of someone renting out the family home who wants to move back in earlier than expected, due to a change of circumstance.

Unfortunately, in these cases your rights are limited. A fixed term tenancy cannot be terminated by notice from one party to the other. It is designed to provide security of income for the landlord, and certainty of accommodation for the tenant for the agreed upon term. One way a lease can be broken is by application to the Tenancy Tribunal on the grounds of hardship. The burden of proof is on the landlord that their hardship is greater than the tenant’s from having the tenancy broken. This is not easy to prove.

But you can ask the tenants for a change, and if they agree in writing, the tenancy can be ended early. A tenant may be enticed to leave early with the offer of a rent holiday, compensation for moving costs, or a settlement offer for the rent remaining during the term.

LJ Hooker NZ

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