Reform of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986

About the Reforms

The reforms:
*improve tenants’ security and stability while protecting landlords’ interests
*ensure the law appropriately balances the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords and helps renters feel at home
*modernise the legislation so it can respond to the changing trends in the rental market.

The reform of the Act ensures the law governing New Zealand's rental market strikes an appropriate balance between:
*protecting a landlord’s interest in their property, and
*ensuring tenants receive fair rights for the rent they are paying.
*Proposed changes for landlords and tenants

The Government has agreed to the changes to the Residential Tenancies Act. These changes will be set out in legislation, due to be introduced to Parliament in early 2020.

The key proposed changes:
*Landlords will not be able to end a periodic tenancy without a reason. The legislation will set out specified reasons that a landlord may use to end a periodic tenancy.
*Fixed-term tenancies will become periodic tenancies at the end of the fixed term. This applies unless the landlord and tenant agree otherwise, the tenant gives notice, or the landlord gives notice using one of the specified reasons.
*Tenants will be able to add minor fittings to their premises where the installation and removal of the fittings is low risk.
*The Regulator will have new compliance tools to take direct action against parties who are not meeting their obligations.
*The penalty amounts will be increased in line with rental increases since 2006, when the penalty amounts were set.
*Soliciting rental bids, for example, by advertising a property without a rental price, will be prohibited.
*The minimum period between rent increases will be raised from six months to twelve months.
*A party who is successful in the Tenancy Tribunal can have their identifying details removed from the Tribunal’s decision.