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Peter Lewis: Important information for all landlords

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

 

There are two pieces of legislation currently under consultation which will dramatically affect all residential landlords. These are the proposed amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) and the Health Homes Guarantee Act.

Just some of the suggestions from tenancy advocates that could be made to the RTA include:

  • removal of any ability for a landlord to terminate under a 42-day notice (currently this can be done if the property is being sold or if the landlord a member of their immediate family intends to move in).
  • make it mandatory to give a stated reason for a landlord’s 90-day notice to terminate - to give a reason gives a cause for argument, and prolongs the termination process.
  • allowing tenants to make modifications or alterations to your property where you could not withhold permission.
  • allow tenants to keep pets in your property as of right (but you would still be liable for the damage).
  • limit rent increases to no more than one a year, despite an increase in your costs within that time.
  • commit to an open-ended tenancy where the tenant has right of renewal at their option.
  • extend MBIE involvement in the tenancy without first seeking a Tribunal ruling.

Under the Healthy Homes legislation, it is proposed that:

  • the landlord will be required to provide a fixed approved heating source in the living area capable of maintaining the room at a specified temperature and to maintain that heating source at your cost.
  • possibly supply and maintain heating sources in the bedrooms.
  • install insulation that complies with the 2016 legislation, and not the earlier standards if already installed.
  • install and maintain forced ventilation systems vented to the exterior in bathrooms and kitchens.
  • block off all gaps in excess of 3mm around windows, doors and other exterior fixtures.

As landlords, your input into this discussion is vital. MBIE is holding discussion workshops in Christchurch, Wellington, Tauranga and Auckland. If tenants groups are well organized – we need to be the same.

Submissions on the RTA amendments close on 21st October, and on the Healthy Homes on 22nd, if you cannot attend one of these, it is essential that you make your voice heard by direct response through the submission process.

Your property investors association will receive further information from the NZ Property Investors Federation shortly and will distribute that to members. We urge you to read and consider this and make your voice heard prior to those dates.

The links to the MBIE documents are:
https://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/housing-property/residential-tenancies/rta-reform
https://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/housing-property/housing-quality/consultation-healthy-homes-standards


 

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