I live in a 2 bedroom flat in Ilam near the Uni. Our rent is $250 per week but all things considered (location, building etc) it's reasonable.
My flatmate has decided he would rather move closer to the Polytech instead of taking the bus next year. Our contract (which we both resigned on the 14th Nov 2011) states that if we leave we must continue paying rent until new tenants are found. He says he cannot afford to bus, but I know he has a 4 figure bank account with Kiwibank (one of those long term high interest things) and also we get $1k from the goverment for travel expenses anyway (which he uses for other things).
Now, my flatmate is saying that it was illegal for First National to have us resign a copy of last years contract with new dates and signatures, even though all the other details were valid. He is saying that that is "defacing" a contract. Bear in mind that the previous year's contract was a copy of the 2009 contract with new dates, rent increase and signatures. This would be the second of these contracts he has signed and never made a fuss about until now.
So he is planning on finishing his exams then buggering off up north to his parents, where he plans to claim the dole and use it to save. Most likely for his trip to the USA to visit his girlfriend next July. He has stated he doesn't believe that he is shafting me because First National would have to release him while making me pay only my half of the rent (which is not a documented split).
There are some serious breakdowns in his logic there and he will be convinced otherwise.
Now I have set up a meeting tomorrow with my property manager, because this is heading straight for the tribunal. Unfortunately as all the bills go through my accounts he can essentially just cold turkey the payments when he wants. Since I'm a student on summer scholarship with the Uni, this will demolish my rental money (I'm paid upfront) at a vastly accelerated rate and I wont reach my next Pay Day without eviction.
So, has anyone here ever heard of this BS law about resigning rental contracts before? and also for those renting, do you get fresh contracts everytime or just resign like we do?
I'm hoping to gain a little more knowledge through the conversation here with which to fight back.
All I've managed to do so far is attempt to reason (fail) and alert the property managers to the trick he intends to spring on them in the next few weeks (he plans to mention Illegal contract then just walk). My reasoning was with prior knowledge their lawyers can be waiting for him.