Harcourts Canterbury

The Canterbury
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Ending a fixed term tenancy

The end of the academic year, can mean some landlords find their student tenants are wanting to opt out of fixed term tenancies.

Here’s a quick rundown of the rules:

  • Fixed term tenancies can be changed only if the landlord and all the tenants (everyone named on the tenancy agreement) agree. So if either party wants to end the fixed-term early, they can approach the others to see if they’ll agree.
  • Any agreement must be in writing, clearly stating what’s been agreed to, and each party should keep a copy.
  • Landlords may charge a fee for ending the fixed-term early. These fees should only be their actual and reasonable costs, such as the cost of advertising for new tenants.
  • Tenants can request subletting or assigning the tenancy to someone else, if there is a clause allowing these options in the original tenancy agreement. Subletting doesn’t release the tenant from their obligations under their tenancy agreement.
  • If you do allow the tenancy to be sublet we recommend your property manager, be involved in the approval of new tenants.
  • If agreement can’t be reached, either party can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for a ruling.




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