Do you know the recent changes to Tenancy Agreements? Toni Heath, Business Development Manager, discusses the new additions and essential information needed on agreements for tenancies in New Zealand.
A tenancy agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant that must be in writing. This contract sets out specifics that the landlord and tenant has agreed to in regards to the tenancy. Landlords and tenants cannot avoid their obligations by not putting their agreement in writing, as even if there is no formal agreement in writing the Residential Tenancies Act still applies.
Due to recent legislation changes and updates to the Residential Tenancies Act, Tenancy Agreements now require a few more bits of information, these include:
- A separately signed insulation statement which must include whether the property has insulation, where it is in walls, ceiling and underfloor, what type of insulation, and what condition the insulation is in. You can find a copy of an insulation statement on the Tenancy Services website here.
- Healthy Homes Standards intent to comply statement. From 1 July 2020, all new or renewed tenancy agreements must also include specific information about the Landlord’s current level of compliance with the healthy homes standards. NOTE: this statement is not required if the tenancy is for a fixed term which ends before the healthy homes compliance date. You can find a copy of the Healthy Homes Standards intent statement on the Tenancy Services website here, and more information about the Healthy Homes Standards can be found here.
- An insurance statement detailing whether or not the property is insured, and the excess amount of any policies relevant to the tenant’s liability for destruction or damage. In addition, a copy of each insurance policy for the property is to be made available to tenants upon request. You can find a copy of the insurance statement on the Tenancy Services website here.
It’s important to note that Landlords can’t just add any conditions they want to a tenancy agreement, however they can add some conditions such as limiting the number of occupants, or rules around pets and smoking. Any extra conditions added to a tenancy agreement must not breach the law as any conditions that are outside the law are not enforceable and will have no effect. You can learn more about unenforceable clauses in a tenancy agreement on the Tenancy Services website here.
Along with the above statements, every tenancy agreement must also include the following:
- Full name and address of landlord and tenant, including email addresses and mobile phone numbers.
- Address of the rental property.
- Commencement date of the tenancy.
- Address for service for both landlord and tenant.
- Whether the tenant is under the age of 18 years.
- Bond amount charged.
- Rent amount and frequency of payments.
- How rent will be paid (bank account number, reference number, etc.).
- List of chattels (furniture, curtains and other fittings) provided by the landlord.
- For fixed term tenancies, the end date of the tenancy period.
If you have any questions about tenancy agreements then please feel free to get in touch with us.