Proposed changes to the Residential Tenancy Act 1986

01 May 2020

On 18 November 2019, Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi shared proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. The suggested changes to the legislation include:

  • Limiting rent increases to once every 12 months
  • Banning the solicitation of rental bids by landlords
  • Removing a landlord’s right to use no cause terminations to end a periodic tenancy agreement
  • Letting tenants add minor fittings such as hanging pictures, doorbells, baby proofing the property, installing visual fire alarms and securing furniture against natural disaster risk. 
  • Increasing financial penalties and introducing new tools to take direct action against parties who are not meeting their obligations.

The announcement of these proposed changes received an array of responses with many landlords feeling micromanaged by the Government, especially following the Healthy Homes Standards and banning of letting fees. The Bill has since been introduced to Parliament and the select committee presented their submissions in the final week of April 2020, marking the end of the feedback period for the proposed changes. 

There are still several stages before the Bill becomes law. Following the select committee’s presentation, there will be second and third readings of the Bill, as well as consideration by the committee of the whole House and finally the Royal assent. We will be closely following the progress of this Bill and sharing key information as it advances.

We understand that it may feel like landlords are being portrayed as ‘the bad guy’. In times like these, it’s important to remember that evolving regulations are an opportunity to protect your investment against future claims, develop positive landlord-tenant relationships, attract longer-term tenants and create a better rental experience for all.

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