With the housing market how it currently is, it’s no surprise that tenants who have been issued a 90-day notice are blatantly choosing to ignore that notice. Unfortunately, despite the housing situation being dire, you aren’t doing yourself a favour by breaching the Residential Tenancies Act.
Section 40 of the Act outlines a tenant’s obligations at the end of a tenancy. One of those obligations is to “quit the premises”, and failing to do so is outlined as being an “unlawful act”.
But it isn’t just a $1,000 fine that should have you worried… our company in particular utilises a company called illion tenancy. This particular company holds the largest tenant database in all of New Zealand and most multi-bureau credit checks and competent property management companies use illion tenancy as part of their tenant vetting process.
So what does this mean:
- Every breach letter that we issue to a tenant is lodged with illion tenancy – we take breach letters seriously and utilise these as a last resort; however, if we have to issue a breach letter, we lodge it with illion tenancy.
- At the end of a tenancy, we lodge a tenant review – a tenant review can be good or bad, a bad review could have disastrous consequences on your ability to rent again in future.
Basically, a breach letter or tenant review on illion tenancy has the potential to adversely affect a tenants future renting prospects. Is it really worth it?
The reality is that if you stay on past the 90th day, the landlord will most likely apply to the Tenancy Tribunal and a hearing will be held between 4 – 6 weeks after filing. If you happen to think appearing at the Tribunal and using the housing crisis as a reason for the Adjudicator to set aside the 90-day notice, you’re mistaken. In fact, it’s very unlikely that an Adjudicator will set aside a 90-day notice at all if it is deemed to be a valid notice.
So really for an extra 28 – 42 days in the property you put your future renting prospects at risk, you face a potential $1,000 fine and you face the harsh reality of Tenancy Tribunal.
A handful of people also believe that staying on past the tenancy and appearing at Tribunal with a variety of claims against the landlord, such as allegations of the landlord breaching Section 45 (Landlord’s responsibilities), will result in the Adjudicator setting aside the 90-day notice. Guess what, this is false! In fact, if your landlord has done nothing wrong and you act in a malicious or vindictive matter, it can actually backfire on you.
Let’s not forget that if you give false evidence in the Tenancy Tribunal (also more commonly known as “perjury” in pop culture) you could be held liable for imprisonment not exceeding 3 years (see Section 111 of the RTA).
The lesson from this story is simple… if you are given either a 90-day or 42-day notice – accept it, search for alternative means of accommodation and abide by the notice. It is not worth ruining your future renting prospects for an additional 28 – 42 days of illegal occupation.