Tenancy reform submissions due March 25

Wednesday 26 February 2020

Worried about the government’s tenancy law reforms? You’d better speak up soon because there’s under a month to make a submission on the legislation.

By Miriam Bell

The controversial Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament, and was referred to the Social Services and Community Select Committee, on February 20.

Social Services and Community Committee chair Gareth Hughes has now called for people to start making submissions on the Bill - because the submission period ends at midnight on 25 March 2020.

Both the NZ Property Investors Federation (NZPIF) and REINZ are encouraging rental property owners to speak up about their concerns about the Bill.

That’s because a number of the proposed reforms contained in the Bill are considered to be extremely problematic.

One of these is the removal of a landlord’s right to use “no cause” terminations to end a periodic tenancy agreement.

The other is the requirement that fixed-term tenancy agreements become periodic tenancy agreements upon expiry unless both parties agree otherwise.

Some of the other proposed reforms include:

• 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.

• Improving compliance with the law by increasing financial penalties and introducing new tools to take direct action against parties who are not meeting their obligations. It also allows for identifying details to be anonymised in situations where a party has been wholly or substantially successful in their case.

• Banning rental bidding and limiting rental increases to once a year.

The NZPIF’s new executive officer, Sharon Cullwick, says they know the government wants to try and get the legislation through before the election.

But they are hopeful that the Select Committee might be more receptive to suggested changes than the Minister responsible, Kris Faafoi, has been to date, she says.

“We need to get all landlords, and other people, behind us and our battle against the planned reforms. It’s hugely important as they will have a major impact on people, and not just landlords. So we are encouraging as many landlords as possible to make submissions on the proposed reforms.”

Read the full content of the Bill here. And it is possible to make a submission on the Bill here.

Read more:

Tenancy reform Bill hits Parliament 

RTA reforms pile pressure on landlords 

Key reform will only protect bad tenants 

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Sign In / Register to add your comment

House Prices

What lies ahead for the housing market

As New Zealand begins to settle into the “new normal” of the Covid-19 lockdown, commentators have started releasing their (tentative) outlooks for the housing market. Here’s a summary of some of them...

Commercial

Commercial sector facing hundreds of millions in lost revenue

Some large commercial tenants are refusing to pay rent and this could devastate the commercial property sector, the Property Council New Zealand is warning.

Mortgages

Banks roll out mortgage holiday

Major lenders have launched mortgage holidays for borrowers affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, using online application forms to process customer requests.

Site by PHP Developer