Select committee backs tenancy law reforms

01 August 2020

In November 2019, changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 were proposed by Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi. These changes were met with immediate backlash from rental property investors across the country, with complaints of feeling micromanaged by the Government. 

The suggested alterations included:

  • Limiting rent increases to once every 12 months
  • Removing a landlord’s right to use no cause terminations to end a periodic tenancy agreement
  • Banning the solicitation of rental bids by landlords
  • Increasing financial penalties for parties who are not meeting their obligations
  • Letting tenants add minor fittings to rental properties

On 7 July 2020, the Select Committee reported back on the bill, largely sharing their support for the proposed changes. This expression of support is a disconcerting development for New Zealand property investors. NZPIF president Andrew King specifically referenced the removal of the landlord’s right to use no cause terminations, stating “It will cause major issues for landlords who have problem tenants - especially as the Select Committee has now recommended that it should be up to the landlord to prove that anti-social behaviour occurred if a tenant challenges a notice at the Tribunal.”

The Second Reading of the Proposed Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill was scheduled for yesterday. However Hon Chris Hipkins advised that the bill would instead be pushed through under urgency next Tuesday. This means that if it passes, there will be no more readings or debate, and it will go through from second reading to becoming legislation. If you have any questions or concerns about the Bill and what it means for you, please contact your local Quinovic office.

 

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