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How to give notice to end a fixed-term tenancy?

We received this question from anonymous and paraphrased it below to suit this format:

My three-year fixed-term tenancy ends on 23rd January 2023. I want the tenancy to end on that day. Can I? What notice should I give the tenant and when do I have to give it by? 

Assuming that your tenant does not serve you a notice to discontinue, you will have to serve that notice for the tenancy to end on the expiry date (23rd of January 2023). The applicable s60A (not the current version) requires that the notice be served 90-21 days before the 23rd of January 2023 (i.e. between 25th October 2022 and 2nd January 2023). Take care to account for the statutorily mandated service times and how the Residential Tenancies Act defines a working day (i.e. among other things, a day that sits outside of the 24th of December to the 3rd of January).

In effect: 

  • If notice is served by email (assuming the tenant had nominated his/her email as a valid address for service) then the email has to be sent no later than 5 pm 23rd December 2022. 
  • If the notice is being served personally then it has to be handed over to the tenant’s person by the 2nd of January 2023. 
  • If the notice is to be left at the premises (i.e. inside the letterbox or attached to the door) then make sure that is done by the 21st of December 2022. 
  • If the notice is to be posted to the tenant then it should be in the post no later than the 19th of December 2022.  

Given that the tail end of the notice period lands during the holiday periods, we strongly encourage this landlord to give the tenant as much notice as possible so that both parties can secure a new tenancy in a timely manner. 

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