18 November 2019

Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi has announced proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.

The proposed changes seek to:

  • remove the ability for landlords to end a periodic tenancy agreement with no cause. The legislation will instead provide for a range of justified reasons to end a periodic tenancy, including new provisions to respond to antisocial behaviour.
  • require that fixed-term tenancy agreements must become periodic tenancy agreements upon expiry unless: both parties agree otherwise, the tenant is not meeting their obligations, or specified grounds for the tenancy to end apply.
  • increase financial penalties and give the regulator (through the Tenancy Compliance and Investigations team) new tools to take direct action against parties who are not meeting their obligations.
  • allow for identifying details to be anonymised in situations where a party has been wholly or substantially successful when taking a case to the Tenancy Tribunal.
  • ensure that tenants can add minor fittings such as brackets to secure furniture and appliances against earthquake risk, baby proof the property, install visual fire alarms and doorbells, and hang pictures.
  • prohibit the solicitation of rental bids by landlords and limit rent increases to once every twelve months.

The next step is for changes to be drafted in a Bill to amend the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, to be introduced to Parliament in the first quarter of 2020.

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