As landlords, property managers, and tenants have learned, 2021 has brought a whole heap of new changes for rental properties. From the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) reforms to the Healthy Homes Standards, these changes aim to modernise the rental market here in New Zealand.

Phase 2 of the RTA reforms saw changes to fixed-term tenancies and landlords’ rights to terminate tenancies.

Fixed-term tenancies 

Fixed-term tenancies are agreements that are set for a specific period of time as set out in the tenancy agreement.

As it currently stands, all fixed-term tenancies signed on or after 11 February 2021 will automatically convert to periodic tenancies at the end of the tenancy agreement.

However, there are few instances where this regulation isn’t applicable:

  • If a tenant does not want this to happen, they will have to give their written notice at least 28 days before the term ends.
  • Both parties (landlord and tenant) agree to extend, renew, or end the tenancy
  • A notice is given by the landlord, citing grounds for termination


Terminating or ending fixed-term tenancies

Under the new reforms, landlords cannot terminate tenancies without grounds. The notice period of termination varies depending on the reasons.

63 days notices

  • Owner or family member is planning on making the property the principal place of residence
  • Landlord requires the property for employees or use of contractors
  • Landlord is the Ministry of Education and requires the property for employees or contractors

90 days notices

  • Property is to be listed for sale
  • Property is sold under unconditional sale
  • Landlord is not the owner of the land, and their interest is coming to an end
  • Landlord wishes to purchase and develop the property into a residential building
  • Landlord has plans to convert the rental property into commercial premises
  • The property is going to undergo significant renovations that would make it impossible for tenants to live in
  • Landlord plans to demolish the property (and they have been issued the proper planning permission to do so)

While it’s important to familiarise yourself with any regulation changes to rental properties, we also appreciate that it can be a heavy task to take on by yourself. If you are unsure about the reforms to fixed-term tenancies, ending tenancies, or anything else related to rental properties, get in touch with our team.