As Auckland’s population continues to grow there is the need for more and more housing including rental properties to supplement the increasing renting population. The Government is working with many developers to encourage first home buyers with an ever increasing need for homes for tenants.
2019 saw many changes to the property industry and there will be more to come for 2020, if you are a landlord renting your property out, or you are a tenant renting a property, here is a summary of the changes you will be interested in.
Changes to Tenancy Agreements
As recently mentioned in an interview with Roy Adams and Toni Heath, tenancy agreements now require statements associated with recent legislation changes.
- Insurance Statement – Since 27 August 2019, insurance information has been required on any new tenancy agreements. This states whether the property is insured, and the excess amount a tenant would be liable to pay if there is any property damage.
- Healthy Homes Standards Intent to Comply Statement – from 1 July 2019 landlords were required to provide a statement that they intend to comply with the 1 July 2021 Healthy Homes Guarantees Act deadline.
These two recent statements are in addition to the Smoke Alarm statement which has been in place for a while. The Insulation Statement has also been in place since 1 July 2016, however it wasn’t until 1 July 2019 that the specific compliance levels of insulation was needed on Tenancy Agreements.
More information on tenancy agreement statements can be found on the Tenancy Services website.
The Important need for Insurance
On 24 July 2019 new legislation of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2019 passed that emphasised the need for insurance for both landlords and tenants. As mentioned above, landlords are now required to state their insurance cover on tenancy agreements. This now offers a balance to landlords who have often been unable to claim for tenant damage previously in Tenancy Tribunal, and now from the start of a tenancy tenants know what they are expected to pay if any damage to the property is caused.
This highlights the importance for both tenants and landlords to ensure they have the correct cover needed for a rental property. It is recommended for tenants to have contents insurance and landlords to have the appropriate levels of insurance for rental properties. Talk to your Property Manager about REAL Landlord Insurance and how it could help you and your rental property.
First Healthy Homes Deadline – 1 July 2020
From 1 July 2020, all properties rented must supply a statement of their current level of compliance in Tenancy Agreements to the Healthy Homes Guarantees Act. This means that a landlord must state the specific level of compliance to each Healthy Homes Standard e.g. whether they comply or not with the ground moisture barrier or ventilation standards. All five Healthy Homes standards must be compliant by 1 July 2021.
You can learn more about the Healthy Homes Standards o n the Tenancy Services website.
We are currently working with our landlords now to get properties independently assessed by professionals so that we can ensure our properties and landlords meet the compliance deadlines.
Changes Ahead – RTA
Possible changes to the RTA were announced by Housing Minister Kris Faafoi on 17 November 2019 with a Reform of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 which meant that further legislation changes are due to be introduced to parliament. The key changes proposed includes:
- Limiting rent increases to once every 12 months and banning the solicitation of rental bids by landlords.
- Improve tenant’s security by removing a landlord’s use of no cause terminations to end a periodic tenancy agreement.
- Making rental properties safer and more liveable by letting tenants add minor fittings such as brackets to secure furniture against earthquake risk, to baby proof the property, install visual fire alarms and doorbells, and hang pictures.
- Improve compliance with the law by increasing financial penalties and introducing new tools to take direct action against parties who are not meeting their obligations.
You can read more about the proposed changes on the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development website.
2020 is going to be an interesting year for property. If you have any questions about the introduced changes or upcoming changes to legislation then feel free to contact one of our property professionals on the below form.