RSS Feed

Ending a fixed-term tenancy to sell

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

This week's question comes from Rob (paraphrased):  

I want to sell a property that is currently subject to a fixed-term tenancy (term expiring 22nd February 2021). I need some downtime between the tenancy and the listing to tidy up the property. In light of the RTAA, what notice should I give to terminate the tenancy? Also, for the first time, the tenant had missed a rent payment, if I give notice now would that be considered retaliatory?

On the appropriate notice to give in this instance

A termination notice would not be necessary. Seeing that the fixed-term tenancy predates 11 February 2021 and that we are now squarely within the 90-21 days before the end of the term window, Rob can simply give a written notice to discontinue the tenancy once the term expires. Filling out and serving this Tenancy Services template notice will suffice. Note that Rob will not be terminating the tenancy but rather stopping it from rolling over into a periodic tenancy at the end of the term. All fixed-term tenancies that pre-date 11 February 2021 can be dealt with in this fashion. 

For fixed-term tenancies that postdate 11 February 2021 the options open to a landlord wishing to sell are

  • Landlord and tenant both agree to end of fixed-term early; or
  • Landlord and tenant both agree to discontinue the tenancy at the end of the term; or
  • Landlord to sell the property with the tenant in situ; or
  • Landlord to give a 90-day notice to terminate so as to put the property on the market to sell so long as the following conditions are met:
    • That the fixed-term tenancy has already rolled into a periodic tenancy on the day the notice would take effect; 
    • That the property is listed on the market for sell or other disposition 90-180 days after the termination notice; and 
    • That the termination notice is formed, formatted and served according to the requirements set out in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). 


  • Landlord to give a 90-day notice to terminate if the property is under an unconditional sale and purchase agreement requiring vacant possession for the buyer so long as the following conditions are met: 
    • That the fixed-term tenancy has already rolled into a periodic tenancy on the day the notice would take effect; and
    • That the termination notice is formed, formatted and served accordingly to the requirements set out in the RTA. 
But as stated above, the most straightforward solution for Rob in this instance is not to terminate (early) but to discontinue. 

On whether Rob's notice would be considered retaliatory under the RTA

Absolutely not. 

A few reasons/salient points about retaliatory notice (s54 of the RTA) to note:

  • A notice can only be scrutinised for signs of retaliation if it is a termination notice that complies with either s51 or s66U that is served correctly. Rob's notice is not a termination notice; 
  • The RTA's retaliatory provisions protect tenants who, as a result of having asserted/insisted on a right under the tenancy agreement or the RTA got served an s51/s66U termination notice by the landlord. By not paying rent, Rob's tenant hasn't asserted a right. In fact, she has breached the tenancy agreement and the RTA. 
There is a whole lot more we can go into about retaliatory notices but for Rob's purpose, we'll leave it there for now. 

In our experience supporting APIA landlords, we have noticed a lot of misinformation out there surrounding retaliatory notices that are often disruptive to the landlords' ordinary business process. We have made an in-depth video on retaliatory notices and recommend all members to take the time to watch here.

Do you have any tenancy related questions? Write to us at admin@apia.org.nz or hit us up on our social channels here and here.




Recent Posts


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


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