Rental freeze

PHOTO:SUPPLIED Margaret and Paul Ramsay of Whangarei are living in a caravan park in Whangarei over the winter as they cannot move into their rental property as planned.

Stuff has received many emails from “Mum and Dad” landlords as well as first-home buyers who have been caught out with the rental law changes introduced during the Covid-19 Level 4 lockdown.

The new rules allow tenants to remain in houses, even though leases were due to be terminated — the earliest they can be served notice is June 26, 2020, and after that date tenants can stay in the property a minimum 42 days, if the property is sold, or a further 90 days.

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One couple, who are both superannuitants, have been forced to live in a caravan over the winter because they cannot move into their own rental accommodation having sold their house. And a solo dad, who rents himself, evicted a tenant on this own property due to huge arrears, and now faces many months before he can begin to recover the lost income.

Another woman is appealing a Tenancy Tribunal decision that states she must spend money upgrading a run-down old villa she is planning to demolish.