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Fixed - Term Troubles

A landlord’s request for increased rent in a fixed-term tenancy was overturned by the Tenancy Tribunal.


1 April 2021

Fixed-term tenancies can work well for both parties, if things run smoothly. But a property investor who unsuccessfully tried to terminate a fixed-term tenancy, had a subsequent attempt at a rent rise overturned. The tenant, whose name has been suppressed

The tenant, whose name has been suppressed, entered into a fixed-term tenancy with landlord Felicity Clements on November 22, 2019, ending a year later. It was a term of the agreement that the tenant had the right of renewal for one extra year – unless the premises was needed for the landlord’s family.

On November 6, 2020, the parties appeared at the Tribunal. The tenants had given the landlord a notice of their intention to take up the renewed term on September 16, 2020. In response, the landlord sought to decline the renewal on the grounds that the property was required by her family. But the Tribunal found that the landlord’s evidence in support of this did not meet the required standard of proof. The claim that the renewed term should not be granted was dismissed.

The tenants took up their renewed term on November 22, 2020; on November 29 they were served a notice of a significant rent increase by the landlord. The tenants subsequently went back to the Tribunal seeking assurance that this was invalid.

Residential tenancy law claims that:

“A landlord under a fixed-term tenancy cannot increase the rent during the tenancy unless permitted by the tenancy agreement and then only in accordance with section 24 of the Act and the tenancy agreement.”


“For rent to be increased in a fixed-term tenancy it must be stated in the tenancy agreement.”

It was, therefore, found by adjudicator S Young on February 27, 2021 that the rent increase was invalid.


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