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Ban Lifted

The Government has confirmed that the emergency tenancy measures introduced during the Covid-19 lockdown won’t be extended.

By: Property Investor Team

1 July 2020

On 24 March, the Government announced emergency legislative measures to protect tenants as New Zealand moved towards alert level four lockdown.

They included a three-month ban on terminating tenancies, except for a limited set of reasons, during the lockdown period. With the three-month period drawing to a close, there were growing concerns the ban might be extended.

However, Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi recently announced that it is no longer justified to extend restrictions on terminations after June 25 and the usual termination rules will apply from June 26, 2020.

Faafoi says there are still challenging times ahead for landlords and tenants as a result of the economic impacts of Covid-19 which are still unfolding.

“We know it is likely to affect the ability of some tenants to meet their rental obligations, with flow-on financial effects for landlords.”

That’s led the Government to increase Rent Arrears Assistance to support people at risk of being evicted because they are unable to pay rent due to Covid-19 related income changes.

Faafoi says the increased rent arrears assistance is aimed at helping both tenants and landlords – including people who are working - while they work through any rent issues. Both the NZ Property Investors’ Federation and REINZ welcome the announcement. NZPIF executive officer Sharon Cullwick says it will alleviate a lot of pressure for many landlords.

“But it’s not just landlords who benefit from the lifting of the ban. This will help all those people who have come back from overseas and want to move back into the properties they own.
“There is still quite a process to go through to terminate a tenancy, but this will enable many property owners to put an end to stressful situations involving tenancies.”

Tenancy Services advises that termination notices prior to lockdown are of no effect and the process must start again.


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