Notices to Vacate
If your landlord wants to end your tenancy, they must give you a valid Notice to Vacate.
A Notice to Vacate by itself does not allow your landlord to evict you. To have you evicted, your landlord must apply to the Tribunal for a Possession Order.
A Notice to Vacate must be in writing and signed and dated by your landlord or agent. It must state the reason you are being asked to leave (unless it is a 60- or 90-day notice to end a fixed-term tenancy, or a 120-day no-reason notice to end a periodic tenancy).
The notice must be given to you in person or sent by registered mail. If it is sent by mail, the date on the notice must include an extra 2 days to allow for delivery. If you receive a Notice to Vacate and you are not sure whether or not it is valid, check with the Tenants Union.
Immediate Notice to Vacate
You can give the landlord an Immediate Notice to Vacate if the rented property is destroyed or is unfit for human habitation. The landlord can also give you an immediate Notice to Vacate if you (or any of your visitors):
- maliciously damage the premises, or
- endanger the safety of neighbours
The Tribunal requires substantial proof from landlords in these cases. If you receive an immediate Notice to Vacate you should seek urgent advice from the Tenants Union.
14-day Notice to Vacate
The landlord can give you a 14-day Notice to Vacate if:
- your rent is 14 days in arrears
- you failed to pay your bond
- you assigned or sub-let the premises without your landlord’s consent
- your lease has a condition prohibiting children living on the premises, and you are breaking that condition
- you used your home (or allowed other people to use your home) for an illegal purpose
- you are a public tenant and you made a false or misleading statement on your application form
- you failed to comply with a compliance and/or compensation order made by the Tribunal
- you have breached a duty under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 and have received 2 previous Breach of Duty Notices for the same breach
- you have a fixed-term tenancy agreement that states that the property was your landlord’s principal place of residence immediately before you signed the tenancy agreement, and that the landlord intends to resume occupancy on termination of the agreement, and there have been no more than 2 leases since it was the landlord’s main residence
60-day Notice to Vacate – periodic tenancy
Your landlord can give you a 60-day Notice to Vacate if immediately after the date on the notice the property is to be:
- used for a business or any other purpose, except being rented as a residence
- occupied by your landlord, or by your landlord’s spouse, son, daughter, parent or spouse’s parent, or by someone who normally lives with your landlord and is dependent on them
- sold or offered for sale with ‘vacant possession’
- repaired, renovated or reconstructed, and this can’t be done without it being vacant
- used for public purposes if it is public property
If your landlord serves a notice for any of the first 4 reasons above, they can’t relet the property again for 6 months after you leave.
If your landlord gives you a 60-day Notice during a fixed-term tenancy, the end date on the notice must be on or after the expiry date of your tenancy agreement.
If you want to challenge the notice, you can apply to the Tribunal within 30 days of receiving it.
If you have a periodic tenancy and you receive a 60-day Notice to Vacate, 90-day Notice to Vacate or a 120-day Notice to Vacate, you can give your landlord a 14-day Notice of Intention to Vacate if you want to move out before the end date on the Notice. (See ‘Ending a periodic tenancy’.)
60-day Notice to Vacate fixed-term tenancy
Your landlord can also serve a 60-day Notice to Vacate if you have a fi xed-term agreement for less than 6 months. The end date on the notice must be the same as the last day of the fixed term.
90-day Notice to Vacate fixed-term tenancy
Your landlord can serve a 90-day Notice to Vacate when you have a fixed-term agreement for 6 months or more. The end date on the notice must be the same as the last day of the fixed term.
120-day Notice to Vacate
Your landlord can give you a 120-day Notice to Vacate for no reason. If you have a fixed-term agreement, the end date on the notice must be on or after the expiry date of your tenancy agreement.
Notice given in retaliation
If you are given a Notice to Vacate (end of fixed term) or a no-reason Notice to Vacate in retaliation for exercising your rights (eg asking for repairs), it may be invalid. If you believe this is the case, contact the Tenants Union for advice. If you want to challenge the notice at the Tribunal, you must apply within 21 days (60-day notice), 28 days (90-day notice) or 60 days (120-day notice) of receiving the notice.