COVID-19 Updates for Tenants and Landlords
The government as of 23rd March introduced a six-month freeze on residential rent
increases and increased protection from having tenancies terminated. Landlords will be
unable to terminate existing tenancies unless limited and specific, justified, reasons apply.
These reasons are where the tenant:
▪ substantially damages the premises; or
▪ assaults or threatens to assault the landlord, their family, or the neighbours; or
▪ abandons the property; or
▪ engages in significant antisocial behaviour (defined as harassment; or any intentional act,
if the act reasonably causes significant alarm, distress, or nuisance); or
▪ is 60 days behind in rent, which is increased from 21 days (and the Tribunal will need to
take into account fairness and whether the tenant is making reasonable efforts to pay
If, as a landlord, you do increase rent within the relevant timeframe or terminate a tenancy
without grounds, the Tenancy Tribunal able to order exemplary damages of up to $6,500 in
each case. Landlords and tenants may still move into vacant properties, provided the social distancing guidelines are followed, which could mean ‘meeting’ the prospective tenant virtually over video call.
Read here for more information: https://www.hud.govt.nz/residential-housing/covid-19-rent-freeze-and-tenancy-terminations/