Heads-up: Changes to the Residential Tenancy Act

The Residential Tenancies Act changed last month. Here’s a rundown of some of the key moves.

  • Tenants now have to give their landlord 28 days written notice to end their tenancy, and landlords can’t end tenancies by providing 90 days’ notice without reason.
  • There are new grounds to end a tenancy to deal with anti-social behaviour and rent arrears, and tenants can challenge a notice issued because of anti-social behaviour through the Tenancy Tribunal.
  • All fixed-term tenancy agreements will become 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.
  • Tenants can ask to make minor changes to the property and the landlord can’t decline if minor. Landlords must respond in 21 days.
  • Tenants can ask  to install fibre broadband and landlords must agree if it can be installed at no cost to them.
  • There are now provisions allowing suppression orders to remove names and identifying details from published Tenancy Tribunal decisions.
  • All requests to assign a tenancy must be considered and landlords can’t decline unreasonably.
  • Not providing a tenancy agreement in writing is an unlawful act and landlords will need to retain and provide new types of information.
  • The Regulator (the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) has new measures to take action against parties who are not meeting their obligations.
  • The Tenancy Tribunal can now hear cases and make awards up to $100,000. This is a change from $50,000

You can learn more about the changes at www.tenancy.govt.nz/law-changes


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