Red’s the new orange, and my tenancy is coming to an end! What should I do?

January 28, 2022 6:00 pm

Kia ora e hoa,

We had this newsletter all planned around what you should do when your tenancy comes to an end but we thought with the changes in traffic lights we’d give you a quick recap of what that means for you as a tenant as well.

Here’s a quick recap of life at red:

  • You can still move freely if you’re changing tenancies. At red the COVID amendments made last year don’t apply to your tenancy unless your movement is restricted (if we were to go back into a lock down).
  • You don’t need to inform your landlord if you’re isolating, or of your vaccination status. Your vaccination status also can’t be used as a considering factor if you’re applying for a new property.
  • Property inspections can still go ahead at red, however your property manager needs to contact trace and observe public heath guidelines. It’s a good idea to notify your landlord prior to an inspection if you’re currently isolating, even if it’s only because you’re waiting for your result.
  • Mandatory maintenance can still be carried out at red and non-mandatory maintenance can be carried out with your consent. Maintenance can’t take place if you are self isolating however, so you’ll need to inform your landlord if they have scheduled any maintenance.
  • You can’t refuse the entry of your landlord or a tradesperson based on their vaccination status if they are attending for an inspection or mandatory maintenance. If the maintenance isn’t mandatory you can refuse access for any reason, including vaccination status.
  • In-person viewings can happen as long as public health measures are followed but if your landlord wants to show prospective tenants around they’ll need your consent first.

Tenancy Services has a full run down of everything that’s changed under red and you can check that out here. If you’re having issues help is still available, get in contact with one of our friends at rentersunited.org.nz/help.

My tenancy is coming to an end!

If your tenancy is coming to an end soon and you signed your original lease (not extension) on or after the 11th of February 2021, and you want to continue in the property you are legally entitled to continue under a periodic tenancy.

For most people a periodic tenancy, which has no fixed start or end date, will be a better option than renewing for another fixed term tenancy.

Under a periodic tenancy there are a finite list of reasons that a landlord can end your tenancy (e.g. selling the property, moving into it), while you still have the flexibility to provide notice of 28 days’ should you want the tenancy to end. Your landlord can’t just end a periodic tenancy because they don’t like you anymore, but you can!

We’ve written a full blog post that goes over the difference between a periodic and fixed term tenancy and what options you have when your lease comes to an end. If you need more help deciding between the two contact one of our friends for some personal advice.

Are you ready to fight?

We’ve just finished another round of hiring here at Renters United and we’re excited to announce that we have a new National Organiser. Grace Carr is joining us after running successful community campaigns on housing and public transport. As a renter in Wellington she’s super passionate about housing and the interconnection it has with the rest of our lives.

With  work starting on property manager regulation, this year presents a massive opportunity for positive change for renters throughout Aotearoa. We’re super excited to have you onboard already, and we can’t wait to make change with you!

We’re still working out specific volunteer positions that we need to fill for this year, but we’ve already got two that need filling! If you want to be part of creating content on the Renters United website and writing these newsletters to our members, let us know by replying to this email or emailing info@rentersunited.org.nz.

In solidarity,
Renters United

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About the author:

Geordie Rogers

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