As many of our clients have investment properties and are landlords, we wanted to bring to your attention the new Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020 which sees many changes to how landlords can act with regards to their properties. The most controversial of the changes is the removal of the ‘no fault 90 day eviction notice’ which in the past could be issued to tenants without reason. Now the landlord must prove 3 instances of anti-social behaviour, within a 90 day period before evicting.
Landlords may only raise the rent once a year, and must give tenants 63 days’ notice if they or their family members want to move into the house. Multiple sections of the act have been amended that now make failure to comply an unlawful act, making the landlord liable for a fine.
Tenants now need 28 days’ notice to vacate, previously 21 days, unless they are victims of family violence, which mean they need give only 2 days’ notice. Tenants are also able to make minor changes such as hanging a painting and installing fibre connections. Any complaints at the tenancy tribunal by a tenant can now be anonymous.
Lastly, there can be no renting bidding on advertised properties, the landlord must offer the rent as per the advertisement and can’t advertise a property without a rent stated.
This bill was moved through parliament quite quickly so the changes will come into effect from 11th February 2021. With more people being priced out of the housing market, New Zealand is slowly becoming a nation of renters so amendments were designed to keep pace with the changing housing scene.