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Tenancy Law Changes Imminent

Updates to the Residential Tenancy Act will come into play on February 11. Here is a rundown of all the changes that landlords need to be aware of.

By: Property Investor Team

1 February 2021

These are major changes, and some of them have caused considerable concern amongst the property investment industry. Key changes 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 will be available to landlords under a periodic tenancy and the required notice periods will change.
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 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.
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.

Significant action can be taken against landlords not adhering to these rules, so it pays to be vigilant around your record keeping and knowledge of the Act. For more information see Sharon Cullwick’s story on page 60, or visit tenancy.govt. nz/law-changes/ ■

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