On Monday 17 February the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament with the aim to make the rental market fairer and more secure for renters and landlords.
First announced in November the Residential Amendment Bill has a few changes that, according to Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi “…will build on the gains we have already made to ensure that rental properties are warm, dry and safe. They will provide a higher level of security to tenants, and ensure that landlords continue to have the tools they need to manage their assets and provide a high quality of service to their tenants.”
As announced on 17 November 2019, the key changes include:
- Limit rent increases to once every 12 months and banning the solicitation of rental bids by landlords.
- Landlords will not be able to end a periodic tenancy without a justified reason. The legislation will set out specified reasons that a landlord may use to end a periodic tenancy.
- Fixed-term tenancies will become periodic tenancies at the end of the fixed term. This applies unless the landlord and tenant agree otherwise, the tenant gives notice, or the landlord gives notice using one of the specified reasons.
- 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.
What happens now?
The Bill had its first reading in Parliament and was referred to Select Committee.
Public submissions are now being called so you are able to give feedback on the Bill. Closing date for submissions is Wednesday 25 March 2020.
You can give your feedback here: https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/make-a-submission/document/52SCSS_SCF_BILL_94841/residential-tenancies-amendment-bill
You can read the full Minister’s announcement on the Amendment Bill here.
More information about the Bill can be found on the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development website.
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