Moving out: When and how tenancies end
Giving notice to end a tenancy due to family violence
Two days’ notice for family violence
Family violence survivors are 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 don’t need to pay rent after the withdrawal date. The law requires 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.
What proof do I have to show?
The Tenancy website has a list of the kinds of evidence that can be accepted, here (or, go to: tenancy.govt.nz, select “ending a tenancy” and navigate to “withdrawal from a tenancy following family violence”). Examples of accepted evidence include:
- a statutory declaration
- a letter or email from a medical professional, a social worker, or a family violence service provider
- a Police Safety Order, a Protection Order or charging document relating to the family violence that was issued during the tenancy.
What happens after I withdraw?
Once you leave the house or flat, the remaining tenants will get reduced rent for two weeks – or, if you were the only tenant, the tenancy automatically ends. 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. For more about this process, see: “When can I request to end the tenancy through the Tenancy Tribunal?”
Is my information confidential?
It’s illegal 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: “Family violence and elder abuse”.