The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which seeks to make changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), passed its final reading in Parliament on 5 August and will change the landscape for landlords and tenants.
What changes does the RTA amendment bill include?
Amongst the various changes to the Residential Tenancies Act the amendment Bill includes, the most controversial for landlords is the removal of “no cause” terminations which will prevent landlords from being able to end any tenancies without a reason.
Instead, landlords will now only be able to end tenancies on several specific grounds; including the need for a landlord or a family member to occupy the home themselves, to allow renovations, or because of anti-social behaviour by the tenant.
Other changes include:
- Prohibition of rental bidding
- Landlords to consider all tenancy agreement Assignment (transferring of tenant interests and responsibilities to a new tenant) requests.
- Landlords to permit and facilitate installation of fibre broadband connections in rental properties
Changes REINZ advocated against
The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand submitted oral and written submissions to the Select Committee regarding the proposed changes the amendment Bill will make to the Residential Tenancies Act.
The removal of the landlord’s right to use no cause terminations to end periodic tenancy agreements was one of the changes REINZ objected to. They cited that the anti-social behaviour clause by which landlords will be able to terminate periodic tenancy agreements isn’t comprehensive enough to warrant removal of no cause terminations. The Select Committee did not act upon this submission, so “no cause” terminations by landlords will become an unlawful act once the amendment Bill comes into effect in six months.
Where to from here for the Amendment Bill?
The Bill has been voted in and is awaiting Royal Assent before becoming law, and will come into effect six months after the day Royal Assent is awarded.
If you have any questions about where you stand as a landlord, or would like to enquire about our property management services, please get in touch.