Tenancy law changes

New rules for renters and landlords have recently came into effect. Here is what you need to know about the changes below.

No cause terminations

Landlords will no longer be allowed to end a periodic tenancy without cause simply by providing 90 days’ notice. Instead, new termination grounds will be available to landlords under a periodic tenancy and the required notice periods have also changed.

A landlord can still evict a tenant on a periodic tenancy if the owner or a member of the owner’s family requires the property as their principal place of residence. But, under the new rules, this will require a fairly lengthy 63 days’ notice. With 90 days’ notice, a landlord can inform the tenant that the property is to be sold, renovated, or demolished.

Notice periods for tenants to terminate a periodic tenancy will increase from 21 to 28 days.

Tenants can make their rentals feel more like a home

Landlords can now no longer unreasonably deny a tenant’s request to make minor changes to the property. So, if you want to hang those shelves or put up that painting, a landlord is pretty much barred from preventing you unless it’s going to leave permanent damage to the property or cause structural harm.

Of course, landlords can place some minor limitations around these changes – but they cannot be unreasonable. Tenants are responsible for any costs associated with the installation and reversal of any minor change that they request.

Prohibitions on rental bidding

Gone will be the days where landlords can encourage prospective tenants to outbid one another for a property. As of Thursday, rental properties cannot be advertised without a rental price listed and landlords cannot invite or encourage tenants to bid on the rental. However, if you offer a landlord more money than the listed price and they accept your offer, that will still be legal.

Fibre broadband

Landlords can no longer prevent tenants from having fibre broadband installed, provided it will be at no cost to them.

Changes for fixed-term tenancies

All fixed-term tenancy agreements will convert to periodic tenancies at the end of the fixed-term unless the parties agree otherwise, the tenant gives 28 days’ notice, or the landlord gives notice in accordance with the termination grounds for periodic tenancies.

The changes above are is phase two of three meaning there are a couple of extra regulations coming into force later this year, tentatively around August (roughly one year after the law first passed). This will see further protections for victims of domestic violence.

It is important to be aware of these changes. Below is a link to the Tenancy Services NZ website with some more information… https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/law-changes/