COVID-19 – Rent Increase Freeze & Tenancy Terminations

Information on the rent increase freeze and tenancy termination regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For general information on COVID-19 visit the government’s central website.

On 23 March 2020, the Government announced a freeze of rent increases and an extension of no-cause terminations. This has been applied as law through the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Amendment Act, which came into effect on 26 March 2020.

These measures will support New Zealanders to stay in their rental properties with a six-month freeze on residential rent increases and increased protection from having their tenancies terminated.

The key changes for landlords and tenants to be aware of are:

  • There is now a freeze on rent increases.
  • A rent increase notice from a landlord will not have the effect of increasing a tenant’s rent, unless the rent increase has already taken effect.
  • Tenancies will not be terminated from 26 March, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances, regardless of when the notice was provided.
  • Tenants will still be able to terminate their tenancy as normal.
  • Tenants will have the ability to revoke termination notices that they have already given, in case they need to stay in the tenancy.

The timeframes for the new measures are:

  • The measures took effect on 26 March 2020.
  • The rent freeze applies for an initial period of six months (to 26 September 2020, unless extended).
  • The protections against terminations will apply for an initial period of three months (to 25 June 2020, unless extended).
  • At the end of both initial periods, the Government will evaluate whether they need to be extended.

Importantly, where a tenant has symptoms of COVID-19, or is confirmed as positive, this is not grounds for a landlord to terminate a tenancy. Nor is a tenant required to notify their landlord if they test positive for COVID-19. However, we encourage tenants to advise the landlord if the landlord needs to attend the property while the tenant is self-isolating, for example, if the landlord needs to undertake urgent repairs at the property.

For full information on the new measures and what they mean for landlords and tenants, please visit:

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development COVID-19 information page  

The Minister’s announcement on the Beehive website