I have a deed of sublease in Wanaka. It is 12 months and began in February. Due to Covid my business has been struggling

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Customer: Hi, I have a deed of sublease in Wanaka. It is 12 months and began in February. Due to Covid my business has been struggling and I moved to Nelson for more jobs to support myself. still going sorry.
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: The lease is in Otago
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: The landlord has found that the tenant next to me wants to swap rooms. I will pay $30 less each week, and they will not change the lease time frame, so my lease will finish on time. I have attempted to negotiate, I don't want to continue paying rent.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not sure.
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 20 mins 1 year ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read the question

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Does your lease have the clause about rental rebate for the Covid closedown-that may not help with your current situation however.

Do you want to exit the lease completely and swap with the tenant next to you so they take over the lease, or are you ok with the reduction? Is the landlord agreeable to the swap?

Customer
Thanks Chri. I'm sorry, it's hard to know where to begin and what's important in these matters.
Customer
I want to exit completely. It was the landords idea to swap. I want to negotiate leaving the lease. I feel that with me paying for the other room, they will not look for another tenant with as much urgency. My idea was to swap and then give them a time frame to find someone else - 4 weeks. I wanted some advice before beginning the negotiation. He's a very smart business man and has a great rebuttal every time I attempt a negotiation.
Unfortunately the lease was signed before covid.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

It is hard to exit a lease completely and most landlords are unwilling to let you cancel the lease. In terms of the lease contract they can hold you to the terms including the term of the lease to the end and all you can do is try to find a replacement or swap as has been suggested. They do have to make reasonable efforts to find someone else but that isn't always possible.

Customer
Ok, thank you. They have to make reasonable efforts to find someone? What does this entail?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Usually by asking a local land agent or advertising in the local media

Customer
Ok, thanks so much for you help.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

It is difficult for tenants at the moment, although some landlords are struggling too.

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