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Moving out: When and how tenancies end

Giving notice to end a tenancy due to family violence

Two days’ notice for family violence

Residential Tenancies Act 1986, s 56B, Family Violence Act 2018, s 9  

Family violence survivors will soon be able to quickly leave a fixed-term or periodic tenancy by giving two days’ notice to the landlord, along with appropriate evidence. Family violence includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse.

This means that you won’t need to pay rent after the withdrawal date. The law will require you to give notice to each remaining tenant at least a day after the withdrawal date, but you don’t need to tell them the reason why you’re leaving or give them any evidence.

When will this new law come into force?

The new notice period for ending a tenancy due to family violence will come into effect after the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development develop a set of regulations to decide what kind of evidence you need to provide when you give notice to your landlord.

What happens after I withdraw?

Once you leave the house or flat, the remaining tenants will get reduced rent for two weeks – or the tenancy ends if you were the only tenant. If the remaining tenants are concerned about making rent, they can apply for a Tenancy Tribunal Order to end the tenancy because of unreasonable hardship.

Is my information confidential?

Yes. Under the new law, it’s unlawful for your landlord to tell anyone about your situation, unless they have your consent. They may speak about it confidentially if they’re seeking legal advice.

For more information on protections from family violence, see the chapter “Family violence and elder abuse”, including the “Where to go for more support” section.

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Tenancy and housing

Where to go for more support

Community Law

www.communitylaw.org.nz

Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and can help you make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal.

Tenancy Services – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)

www.tenancy.govt.nz 

MBIE‘s Tenancy Services section provides information to tenants and to landlords. It also provides dispute-resolution services.

Tenancy advice line

Phone: 0800 83 62 62 (0800 TENANCY). Free translation services are available.

Bond enquiries

Phone: 0800 737 666. Free translation services are available.

Information and forms

Tenancy Services provides information and various forms online or you can order forms by phoning 0800 83 62 62 (0800 TENANC)

Applying to the Tenancy Tribunal

You can apply online, or you can get a paper copy of the form from a Tenancy Services office. The application processes are explained at:
www.tenancy.govt.nz/disputes/Tribunal/making-an-application

Tenants Protection Associations

www.tpa.org.nz

Some cities have Tenants Protection Associations:

Christchurch – (03) 379 2297,

Auckland – (09) 360 1473

Renters United

www.rentersunited.org.nz (in Wellington only)

Renters United is an organisation for renters in Wellington. They focus on organising renters and campaigning to make renting better for everyone.

Manawatu Tenants Union

Manawatu Tenants Union provides advocacy and support for renters in the Manawatu region

Phone: 06 357 7435

Email: info@mtu.org.nz

Citizens Advice Bureau

www.cab.org.nz

Phone (0800 FOR CAB) 0800 367 222

Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for information about what local tenancy services are available to you.

Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand)

www.kaingaora.govt.nz

Kāinga Ora, which manages the state housing stock in New Zealand, has a range of information on its website.

Phone: 0800 801 601

Ministry of Social Development

www.msd.govt.nz

The Ministry of Social Development assesses eligibility for the social housing provided by Housing New Zealand and registered community housing providers. MSD also calculates income-related rent for social housing and conducts tenancy reviews.

MSD‘s social housing staff can be contacted through Work and Income offices:

Phone Work and Income on 0800 559 009 or, if you’re 65 or older, contact Senior Services on 0800 552 002.

Community Housing Regulatory Authority

www.chra.hud.govt.nz

Phone: (04) 896 5908

Email: CHRA@hud.govt.nz

The Authority approves and registers community housing providers and monitors registered providers. You can read the register of approved providers on the Authority’s website.

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