The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament on Monday 17 February 2020.
This follows on from the announcement made by Associate Minister of Housing Kris Faafoi on 17 November 2019.
The Bill includes a series of reforms that will:
- Improve tenant’s security by requiring the use of a justified reason to end a periodic tenancy, including new provisions to respond to anti-social behaviour and removing the use of no cause terminations to end a periodic tenancy agreement.
- Flatten the inflated demand that has been created in some regions by tenancies all ending at the same time by mandating that fixed-term tenancy agreements must become periodic tenancy agreements upon expiry unless both parties agree otherwise, or certain conditions apply.
- Improve compliance with the law by increasing financial penalties and giving the Regulator new tools to take direct action against parties who are not meeting their obligations.
- Remove a disincentive for parties to use the Tenancy Tribunal by allowing for identifying details to be anonymised in situations where a party has been wholly or substantially successful in taking a case.
- Make rental properties safer and more liveable by ensuring that tenants can add minor changes, such as brackets to secure furniture and appliances against earthquake risk, baby proof the property, install visual fire alarms and doorbells and hang pictures.
- Prohibit the solicitation of rental bids by landlords and limit rent increases to once every 12 months.
In addition to the above changes that were announced in November 2019, the Bill now also includes ultra-fast broadband proposals to:
- Improve the process for the installation of fibre in rental properties by requiring landlords to permit and facilitate the installation of Ultra-Fast Broadband, subject to specific triggers and exemptions.
The Bill will soon have its first reading in Parliament. Following this, the Bill will be referred to Select Committee. How to make submissions to Select Committee. (external link)
For more information:
- read the Minister’s announcement (external link)
- visit the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development’s website (external link)
- read the draft Bill on the New Zealand Legislation website (external link)