RSS Feed

Landlords to become criminals?

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

This week's question comes from Jessica re the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (paraphrased): 

I read somewhere that the Bill criminalises certain landlord breaches and that if we make a mistake we will become criminals. Is that true?!

Great question Jessica! That said, settle down, NO.

The Bill creates this concept of an infringement offence giving an executive body (presumably the Tenancy Compliance and Investigations Team) the power to issue landlords with infringement notices or file charging documents for specific breaches of the RTA. While these offences sit within the criminal jurisdiction, the Bill explicitly states that, '... no conviction can be entered for the offence regardless of whether the offence is dealt with by infringement notice or by filing a charging document.' Instead, the landlord will be made to pay a fine and a fee.

Essentially we are talking about strict liability offences. This is where an act/omission that technically falls under the criminal jurisdiction is committed. The act/omission itself is enough to attract liability (i.e. a $ penalty) and that your intention/state of mind behind the act/omission is not relevant. These offences are dealt with quickly with the imposition of a penalty but the notice itself does not lead to a criminal conviction. We can go on but you are not reading this to get a law degree. 

Think of it this way. Speeding also falls under the criminal jurisdiction. To speed is to commit what is technically a criminal offence. But when you are caught speeding and get an infringement notice, you are not a criminal. Oh, you still have to pay the fine but you will not be a criminal, at least not for speeding. 

For a fuller understanding of what the changes the Bill is proposing (simply because we feel that the government's summary falls short at fully informing the public), take a look at our latest members-only resource: The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill - Explanatory note for landlords. Suffice to say that we consider this a bad bill. We urge landlords and other interested parties to make a submission against the Bill before midnight Wednesday the 25th of March. APIA members are invited to make use of our How to make a submission - a toolkit for landlords resource.


Do you have any tenancy related questions? Write to us at admin@apia.org.nz or hit us up on our social channels here and here

Recent Posts


short-term rental Question and answer Must knows sale and purchase Editor's Choice yield tenancy tribunal meth mortgage beginner investor market buyer's agent heater ventilation interest rates opes partners speculator CCC Property (Relationships) Act Sponsored post bond form Tribunal case study rent meth contamination legal negotiation subdivision tax rta reform landlord RTAA 2019 capital gain return Q&A p lab rtaa2020 clnz minor dwelling relationship rental wof bad tenant election2020 insurance letting election 2017 reserve bank Investment tip holiday house Must know skill shortage property apprentice covid-19 trademe property warren buffett unitary plan RBNZ building Case study data security Holler ring-fencing HSWA barfoot and thompson sale and purchas productivity rta HHS winz maintenance property value Market report trust investment strategy buying rules How to property cycle ocr warm up new zealand recycling equity Jeff Bezos trespass airbnb fixed-term tenancy development wins positive cash flow boarding house renovation ask an expert sublease partners cat housing affordability financial advisers act gluckman report tenancy services privacy commerce commission income management rent arrears nzpif extractor fan mindset market rent twg report principal and interest bond lvr initio personal growth worksafe television cash-flow cgt Level 4 khh shower dome advice wealth creation CoreLogic debt enforcement Kris Pedersen Mortgages and Insurance TCIT rent increase inspection business government robert kiyosaki off the plan asbestos Gluckman Landlording anz damage ird structure auckland council termination auckland first home buying letting fee Standards New Zealand education insulation tenancy issues water bill interest only housing bubble property maintenance buying property management tenant investor banking scotney williams DTI equity HHGA watercare house prices heating parry v inglis finance rental market Guest blog smoke alarm LIM Investor story


Introducing Our Partners
Principal Sponsor - Kris Pedersen Mortgages & Insurance logo Gold Sponsor - Barfoot & Thompson logo Gold Sponsor - CoreLogic logo Property Apprentice logo The Insulation Warehouse logo The Renovation Team logo The New Zealand Property Investors' Federation logo
09 360 2376

The Tenancy Practice Service and TPS Credit Control work closely with the Auckland Property Investors' Association. Our vision of bringing helpful resources, documents and high quality services to Auckland Property Investors and Property Managers is shared by APIA, so its a partnership that works well. 

The Auckland Property Investors' Association is a great organisation for those who want access to advice and information from a range of industry experts and partners. 

Mathieu Holt- Managing Director, The Tenancy Practice Service & TPS Credit Control
Through the Association I found the channels and methods to fund the purchase of property I never dreamed about. Grant Brown

All round it has been one of those things Neil and I felt was really worthwhile belonging to. We have learned so much it has just built our confidence in what we are doing.

Janice Bieleski
I read two articles in the monthly magazine that saved me over $5,000. That is my membership fee for the next 26 years and I am sure I will learn a whole lot more! John Duncan
Fantastic organisation. The networking opportunities are brilliant and provide us with information and opportunities that cannot be obtained anywhere else. We learn something new at every meeting and we've been in this game for nearly 20 years. Pauline and Gyanen Kumar

I find the information obtained from various APIA meetings very useful in guiding my own property investment and rental management.  I also enjoy the networking opportunities with like-minded investors.  I am inspired by other investors’ success and find the more experiences and knowledge that I share with others, the more confident I become.  

Thanks to all APIA event organizers and administrators for your brilliant work. 

Stella Shao

I like talking to people and learning from their experience because it gives me the confidence to invest well. I think it is a knowledge thing. I now know I am doing things the right way.

Stephen Weatherall

My APIA membership has become a total success.

Every time I attend a monthly or regional meeting I come away with so many useful and positive tips that have added value to my property investments and management.

Not only that, the website is a great place for practical advice and useful information. It has now evolved into an important resource for my business.

Talk about value for money! The discounts I have been getting at Bunnings when I present my APIA membership card have more than paid for my annual subscription!

Tim Duffett, Plan A Investments Limited