As we explained in our last blog, new tenancy laws are coming into effect today. These new tenancy regulations have caused quite a bit of concern among landlords across New Zealand as the ‘balance of power’ appears to be shifting towards the tenant’s rights. However, we believe that an effective relationship between property managers, landlords and tenants, will ensure that all new laws will be successfully applied and will result in a positive outcome and tenancy for everyone.
So, what are the changes and what do they mean? In summary:
The changes which come into effect today are aimed at providing more security and power for tenants.
• Landlords will need a proper reason when they end someone’s periodic tenancy.
• All fixed-term tenancy agreements will automatically move onto a periodic tenancy, unless otherwise agreed.
• Tenants can make minor changes (painting the walls, hanging up pictures etc) and landlords can’t refuse.
• Rental property adverts must show a price, to avoid bid-offs between renters which drives prices up. Connect Realty has always done this.
• Tenants can request fibre broadband, and if it’s of no added cost to landlords, they can’t refuse.
• Successful applicants at the Tenancy Tribunal can now apply to have name suppression so they won’t be blacklisted.
• Landlords must consider all tenancy assignment requests, and not decline them unreasonably.
• The regulator (the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) will be granted new powers to take action against parties not meeting their obligation.
• The Tenancy Tribunal can now impose fines of up to $100,000 where previously the maximum fine was $50,000.