RSS Feed

​COVID-19: Freeze on rent increases explained

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Based on the number of inquiries we have received concerning the temporary rules for rent increases (under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Amendment Act), this FAQ feels appropriate:
What is being frozen?
Rent increases not rents. Landlords are prohibited from increasing rents during the freeze period.
What is not being frozen?
Rents and rent increase notices. Tenants still have to pay rent in full and on time. Landlords are free to issue rent increase notices so long as the notice relates to an RTA compliant increase that would only take effect after the freeze period.
What is the freeze period?
Initially between 26th March to 25th September 2020 for existing tenancies. If the entire COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Amendment Act (the Act) is extended then the freeze period will extend accordingly. In short, and as things stand, you can increase rent from 26th September onwards provided that you serve the right notice.
Note that the freeze period cannot be extended by Order in Council such as the temporary rules for termination can be.
What if I had already issued a notice to increase before 26th March?
Assuming your notice is RTA compliant:
If the notified increase would have taken effect before 26th of March then the increase is not captured by the Act and the increased rent is the rent payable.
If the notified increase would have taken effect after 26th March then the notice is nullified.
Do I have to issue a new notice if my previous notice was nullified by the Act?
Yes. A nullified notice cannot be reignited (e.g. change of date on the same notice). A fresh notice must be given.
I am re-letting my property after 26th March, can I advertise and charge a higher rent for the new tenancy?
Yes. The freeze on increase only applies to tenancies that pre-exist 26th March. 
What if I get it wrong?
Breaching the temporary rent increase rules is an unlawful act and could attract a penalty of up to $6,500. The Act prohibits landlords from increasing or purporting to increase rent knowing that they are not entitled to. In general, we recommend all rent increase notices to include a rider that it would have no effect if the Act is extended before the increase takes effect.

Do you have any questions about the temporary rental rules under the COVID-19 Response Urgent Management Measures) Amendment Act? Email us. We would love to help!


Recent Posts


Kris Pedersen Mortgages and Insurance brightline landlord election2020 debt enforcement fixed-term tenancy initio heating structure relationship CCC election 2017 anz worksafe RBNZ TCIT gluckman report lvr covid-19 airbnb mindset re agent warm up new zealand watercare data security robert kiyosaki letting cgt bad tenant rent increase tenancy services finance property maintenance renovation twg report cash-flow Must knows auckland council wins reserve bank tenancy tribunal Holler interest deductibility Level 4 barfoot and thompson How to equity education buyer's agent Tribunal case study Sponsored post Q&A off the plan Case study property apprentice winz buying rules insulation market minor dwelling khh Market report recycling equity Editor's Choice financial advisers act short-term rental unitary plan meth speculator property cycle government yield rent investor personal growth rent arrears cat capital gain rental market television ring-fencing daikin damage ocr clnz DTI HSWA trespass rental wof commerce commission HHS first home buying will holiday house letting fee maintenance income Jeff Bezos quiet enjoyment legal cost warren buffett ird productivity Investor story bankruptcy heater property shortland chartered accountants ask an expert early termination retaliatory notice anti-social behaviour management LIM house prices market rent termination wealth creation Investment tip development parry v inglis HHGA Question and answer beginner investor Standards New Zealand housing bubble housing package Gluckman kiwibuild water bill opes partners rta reform property value sale and purchas principal and interest investment strategy Guest blog business interest rates inspection scotney williams building return auckland nzpif Must know heat pump housing affordability sale and purchase rta skill shortage privacy boarding house meth contamination Landlording asbestos rtaa2020 bond form negotiation positive cash flow RTAA 2019 mortgage rent control p lab legal smoke alarm ventilation buying property management shower dome apia trademe tax CoreLogic advice trust banking interest only bond tenant partners sublease extractor fan tenancy issues Property (Relationships) Act subdivision insurance


Introducing Our Partners
Principal Sponsor - Kris Pedersen Mortgages & Insurance logo Gold Sponsor - Barfoot & Thompson logo Gold Sponsor - CoreLogic logo Property Apprentice logo The Insulation Warehouse logo The Renovation Team logo The New Zealand Property Investors' Federation logo
09 360 2376

The Tenancy Practice Service and TPS Credit Control work closely with the Auckland Property Investors' Association. Our vision of bringing helpful resources, documents and high quality services to Auckland Property Investors and Property Managers is shared by APIA, so its a partnership that works well. 

The Auckland Property Investors' Association is a great organisation for those who want access to advice and information from a range of industry experts and partners. 

Mathieu Holt- Managing Director, The Tenancy Practice Service & TPS Credit Control
Through the Association I found the channels and methods to fund the purchase of property I never dreamed about. Grant Brown

All round it has been one of those things Neil and I felt was really worthwhile belonging to. We have learned so much it has just built our confidence in what we are doing.

Janice Bieleski
I read two articles in the monthly magazine that saved me over $5,000. That is my membership fee for the next 26 years and I am sure I will learn a whole lot more! John Duncan
Fantastic organisation. The networking opportunities are brilliant and provide us with information and opportunities that cannot be obtained anywhere else. We learn something new at every meeting and we've been in this game for nearly 20 years. Pauline and Gyanen Kumar

I find the information obtained from various APIA meetings very useful in guiding my own property investment and rental management.  I also enjoy the networking opportunities with like-minded investors.  I am inspired by other investors’ success and find the more experiences and knowledge that I share with others, the more confident I become.  

Thanks to all APIA event organizers and administrators for your brilliant work. 

Stella Shao

I like talking to people and learning from their experience because it gives me the confidence to invest well. I think it is a knowledge thing. I now know I am doing things the right way.

Stephen Weatherall

My APIA membership has become a total success.

Every time I attend a monthly or regional meeting I come away with so many useful and positive tips that have added value to my property investments and management.

Not only that, the website is a great place for practical advice and useful information. It has now evolved into an important resource for my business.

Talk about value for money! The discounts I have been getting at Bunnings when I present my APIA membership card have more than paid for my annual subscription!

Tim Duffett, Plan A Investments Limited