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Green Light For RTA Reforms

Landlords’ concerns about the Government’s tenancy law reform proposals have been ignored by the Select Committee.

By: Property Investor Team

31 July 2020

This means the two most controversial proposals will become law, unless the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill does not pass its second reading in Parliament.

One proposal is the removal of a landlord’s right to use “no cause” 90-day terminations to end a periodic tenancy agreement. The other is the requirement that fixed-term tenancy agreements become periodic tenancy agreements upon expiry unless both parties agree otherwise.

Property professionals say the reforms mean that landlords can’t control who lives in their property and will cause investors to leave the market, pushing up rental prices further.

While the NZ Property Investors’ Federation, REINZ, and other landlord advocates campaigned to raise awareness of the likely negative impact of the changes, the Select Committee has not taken their concerns on board.

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell says they are disappointed that the Select Committee has disregarded feedback from industry professionals on the proposed reforms.

“We have made clear our concerns around the fact that should the proposals go ahead, rental property owners will have limited abilities to remove tenants who are causing problems in their rental properties or causing trouble with neighbours.”

She adds that a tenant’s desire for security of tenure needs to be carefully balanced against a landlord’s need to manage business assets. The fact the Select Committee did not take on board feedback from landlords is also hugely disappointing for NZPIF president Andrew King. He says removing the 90-day notice is a mistake which won’t achieve what it is intended to.

“It will cause major issues for landlords who have problem tenants – especially as the Select Committee has now recommended that it should be up to the landlord to prove that anti-social behaviour occurred if a tenant challenges a notice at the Tribunal.”

But it is not only landlords who will be affected, it is anybody who lives next door to an anti-social tenant, he says. At the time of writing the Bill was yet to go through its second reading. Worried landlords can contact MPs to express their concerns.


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