6 April 2021

Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) give landlords a new pathway for responding to anti-social behaviour of tenants.

Unfortunately, some landlords experience, and need to address, anti-social or unacceptable behaviour of tenants. Some examples of these behaviours could be:

  • loud, aggressive behaviour by tenants towards neighbours or each other
  • intimidating behaviour such as ‘hate speech’ (expressing hate or behaviour that encourages violence towards someone based on race, religion or sexual orientation)
  • an invasion of privacy
  • noise control callouts where a problem has been found
  • graffiti or damage to a neighbour’s property or public property.

When this happens, the first step should always be to try talking with your tenant to sort out the issue and prevent it from happening again.

Settling disputes by self-resolution

A new pathway to respond to these types of behaviours took effect on 11 February 2021. This is in addition to the existing options available to resolve anti-social behaviour under the Act, which usually require quite serious behaviour before the Tenancy Tribunal will agree to end the tenancy.

This new pathway is designed to cover situations that reoccur, and that are more than minor, which were not addressed by the Act before February.

From 11 February, a landlord may apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to end a periodic tenancy if:

  • on three separate occasions within a 90 day period, a tenant (or person in the premises with the tenant’s permission e.g. a flatmate) has engaged in anti-social behaviour in connection with the tenancy, and
  • a valid notice for anti-social behaviour was served to the tenant following each of these occasions.

Find out more about this additional option available to landlords on our website. The page linked below includes a template than can be used to serve notice of anti-social behaviour to a tenant.

Dealing with anti-social or unacceptable tenant behaviour

Use our decision tool to better understand the options available to landlords when dealing with violent, threatening, distressing or anti-social behaviour from tenants, including using the 14-day notice to remedy.

Decision tool – What steps can I take to deal with anti-social or unacceptable tenant behaviour?

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