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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22977
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I am having difficulties with property manager. Been in this

Customer Question

Hi ***** *****. My name is Karen. I am having difficulties with property manager. Been in this rental 4 weeks now. On moving in discovered the step into the shower was completely rotten. Issued 14 day to remedy, and received advice from PM that builder would look to schedule in in 2 to 3 weeks time. Found out today that they don't even have a key to our property and want to get one cut. So where are all the keys from previous student tenants. Have applied to Tribunal for release from Fixed Term tenancy. What do you think are our chances? How long is it taking to get to hearing? This situation is very stressful. No rent reduction, even though we have asked.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: We want early release from tenancy - continued communication (written) with PM. Phone call last week resulted in PM yelling at me down the phone. I hung up.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

The test for getting a fixed term tenancy cancelled is quite strict under the Residentail Tenancies Act. Section 66 says

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Reduction or termination of fixed-term tenancy

  • (1)On application by a party to a fixed-term tenancy, the Tribunal may make an order reducing the term of the tenancy by a period stated in the order, and making such variations in the terms of the tenancy as are necessary because of the reduction of the term, where it is satisfied that, because of an unforeseen change in the applicant's circumstances, the severe hardship which the applicant would suffer if the term of the tenancy were not reduced would be greater than the hardship which the other party to the tenancy would suffer if the term were reduced.

    (2)Where the Tribunal makes an order under subsection (1), the Tribunal may order that the applicant pay to the other party an amount determined by the Tribunal by way of reasonable compensation for any loss or damage to the other party which would result from the reduction in the term of the tenancy.

    (3)On an application by a tenant who is a party to a fixed-term tenancy, the Tribunal may make an order terminating the tenancy if the Tribunal is satisfied that the tenant has received a notice of a rent increase that—

    • (a)is substantial; and

    • (b)is of an amount that the tenant could not reasonably foresee when he or she entered into the tenancy agreement; and

    • (c)has caused, or will cause, serious hardship.

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

So you need to concentrate on why this issue will cause severe hardship to you and the unforeseen circumstances. I am not sure one issue like this rotten step would be enough, and you will need to explain carefully why this is a major problem