What you need to know about the new Tenancy Legislation effective February 2021
New tenancy legislation comes into effect on 11 February 2021
This aim of this article is to provide a succinct and useful summary of the legislative changes that come into effect as of 11 February 2021.
For clarification on any point, please feel free to get in touch with us.
What do you need to know?
Tenancy laws in the Residential Tenancies Act (the Act) have undergone some changes. Phase 2 of the changes, which came into effect on 11 February 2021 include:
Security of rental tenure – Landlords will not be able to end a periodic tenancy without cause by providing 90 days’ notice. New termination grounds are available to landlords under a periodic tenancy and the required notice periods will change.
Changes for fixed-term tenancies – Fixed-term tenancies signed on or after 11 February 2021 will convert to periodic tenancies at the end of the fixed term unless the parties agree otherwise, the tenant gives a 28-day notice, or the landlord gives notice in accordance with the termination grounds for periodic tenancies.
Making minor changes – Tenants can ask to make changes to the property and landlords must not decline if the change is minor. Landlords must respond to a tenant’s request to make a change within 21 days.
Prohibitions on rental bidding – Rental properties cannot be advertised without a rental price listed, and landlords cannot invite or encourage tenants to bid on the rental (pay more than the advertised rent amount).
Fibre broadband – Tenants can request to install fibre broadband, and landlords must agree if it can be installed at no cost to them, unless specific exemptions apply.
Privacy and access to justice – A suppression order can remove names and identifying details from published Tenancy Tribunal decisions if a party who has applied for a suppression order is wholly or substantially successful, or if this is in the interests of the parties and the public interest.
Assignment of tenancies – All requests to assign a tenancy must be considered. Landlords cannot decline unreasonably. If a residential tenancy agreement prohibits assignment, it is of no effect.
Landlord records – Not providing a tenancy agreement in writing is an unlawful act and landlords will need to retain and provide new types of information.
Enforcement measures being strengthened – The Regulator (the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) has new measures to take action against parties who are not meeting their obligations.
Changes to Tenancy Tribunal jurisdiction – The Tenancy Tribunal can hear cases and make awards up to $100,000. This is a change from $50,000.
To discuss how any of these changes may affect you – whether you are a landlord or tenant – give us a call on +64 (9) 625 5165 or email email@example.com .
For a summary of the Phase 1 changes, please visit: https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/law-changes/#phase1 . We’ll keep you posted on the next round of Phase 3 changes, scheduled for August’21. If you’re not already receiving the IQ Property newsletter, sign up here and be among the first to know about upcoming changes.
Tenancy Services is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Their role is to provide information on your rights and responsibilities as a landlord, tenant or unit title owner. They also administer the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, Unit Titles Act 2010 and the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act 2017.