Privacy in Tenancy Tribunal records (suppression orders)
From 11 February 2021, tenants and landlords can apply for their personal details to be removed from published Tenancy Tribunal records if certain conditions are met. This is called a suppression order.
The Tribunal will order that the name and any identifying details of that party are not published, unless it considers that publication is in the public interest or is justified due to other circumstances.
This means that if you are entirely or for the most part successful in your Tribunal hearing, you can apply to have your personal details removed so that future landlords/tenants cannot see your details in any records of the Tribunal.
Even if a tenant or landlord is not entirely, or for the most part successful in their hearing, they can still apply for a suppression order and the Tribunal will consider whether publication is in the public interest or is justified because of the party’s conduct (or any other circumstances of the case).
The Tribunal itself can also remove personal details from published records if it believes that is in the interest of the party.
Tenancy Tribunal authority being extended
From 11 February 2021, the Tenancy Tribunal can hear claims up to the value of $100,000 (previously $50,000).
The Tribunal also has the authority to order landlords of 6 or more tenancies (or a boarding house) to pay fines up to a maximum of $50,000 for serious breaches.
It’s important to note that tenancies held by an ‘associated person’ to the landlord will be considered when determining whether that landlord has 6 or more tenancies. An ‘associated person’ is defined in section 2 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.
Section 2 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986(external link) — New Zealand Legislation website
A fine can only be ordered where the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) brings proceedings against a landlord.