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PSA: 218-1 is a bad bill!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020


The verdicts are in. 218-1 The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill a bad piece of legislation and it is in dire need of being saved if it ever stands a chance at doing any good.

The brief, the government intends for 218-1 to achieve the following objectives: 

  1. Improve security of tenure; 
  2. Empower tenants within their rented homes, the rental market and the rental system; and
  3. Modernise renting in New Zealand 
We are agreeable to some of the proposed changes. Rent bidding shouldn't be an acceptable practice. Limiting rent increases to once a year is not something landlords lose sleep over. Other changes, however, are quite another story. In fact, we are so vehemently against them that we see no pathway forward but for the government to go back to the drawing board by either withdrawing 218-1 altogether or effect a wholesome re-write. More specifically, changes relating to the landlord's ability to terminate and diminished control over fixed-term tenancies are so sweeping that not only do they offend the fundamental principle of fairness, they will also shift landlords' risk profile in such a way as to lead to significant changes in business practice and ultimately, distortion in the rental market. Will it increase security or tenure? No. Without the security of tenure, any talk of empowerment within the rented home and rental system would be entirely meaningless. 

The good news is, the 218-8 need not be bad. There is a window. The 82% of New Zealanders who object to 218-1 have until midnight Wednesday the 25th of March 2020 to make a submission against the Bill. If you disagree with 218-1, if you are angered by it, if you are concerned in any way, now is the time to push back. 

We've created several resources to help you understand what 218-1 means to you and guide you through ways you can voice your objections to it. 

218-1 Explanatory notes

218-1 Fact checker

Termination under 218-1

How to make a submission - a toolkit for landlords

Submission link

Example submissions by APIA members

How to write to your MP - a toolkit for landlords

Template letter for neighbours next to anti-social tenants

Template letter for neighbours next to all other tenants

Our good friends over at Opes Partners, host of the Property Academy Podcast has put out two episodes for fans of the pod:

Ep. 180: Legal changes for landlords - what investors need to know

Ep. 181: How you can make your voice heard as a landlord


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