Tenancy Agreement on account of the present COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis ADV-2020-4-2
As a tenant holding a tenancy agreement on your dwelling place in New Zealand and you are facing a threat of eviction or have been evicted from your occupied premises, on account of the present COVID-19 pandemic crisis, provided that you have not committed any of the legal reasons for evicting a tenant, you are advised of the following:
- If the landlord is threatening to evict you, taking time to review your tenancy agreement would be most informative to you. That agreement has its legal basis on the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 and its amendments. Among others, it is important to remember that no landlord can personally evict tenants, without applying to the Tenancy Tribunal first to have the tenancy terminated. The legal proceedings on this normally takes a couple of months or longer. A landlord must give at least 90 days’ written notice to end the tenancy. Landlords can give less time (42 days’ notice) in some cases.
Clear communication is critical to make sure both parties to the tenancy are informed of any current issues and have done what they could to avoid escalating things to the tenancy tribunal.
- If you have actually been evicted, you should know that the landlord has committed an unlawful act against you. You may then report the incident to the nearest law enforcement authority in your locality to seek their help in resolving the matter with the landlord.
However, bear in mind that under the NZ tenancy law, you also have corresponding obligations to uphold in good faith. This means being cautious not to abuse your situation because doing so could bring legal distress on yourself. The law protects those who act justly.