Tenancy Legislation Changes Effective 11 February 2021

TENANCY / LEGISLATION / PROPETY MANAGEMENT EXPERTS

From 11 February 2021, multiple changes to tenancy legislation will take effect.

At Comprende' it’s our job to support owners and tenants through these changes, so we’ve collated our thoughts on a few key topics below.

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.

Unfortunately, this may result in more Tenancy Tribunal events and the tribunal is already overloaded. We hope to navigate this without too much disruption.

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 new rules for a periodic tenancy are that the tenant can provide 28-days notice to vacate at any time and the landlord can only provide 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. Landlords must respond to a tenant’s request to make a change within 21 days.

At this stage it is unclear what a ‘minor change’ is. We expect this legislation to be tested as events arise and more clarity provided by the Government and the Tenancy Tribunal.

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).

Comprendé advertises all property rates so we do not expect this to affect the process for Comprendé properties.

Fibre broadband: A landlord must agree to the installation of fibre broadband if it can be installed at no cost to them, unless specific exemptions apply.

At Comprendé the installer is required to provide a scope of works, including diagrams, for our approval, prior to the installation being carried out.

Privacy and access to justice: A suppression order can remove names and identifying details from published Tenancy Tribunal decisions if a party who has applied for a suppression order is wholly or substantially successful.

This new legislation is something we will have to navigate during the application process when it arises. This should have little impact on our business, as we have robust procedures in place.

Assignment of tenancies: All requests to assign a tenancy must be considered. Landlords cannot decline unreasonably. If a residential tenancy agreement prohibits assignment, the new legislation negates this clause.

At Comprendé we already consider potential replacement tenants provided they follow our application process.

Landlord records – Not providing a tenancy agreement in writing will be an unlawful act and landlords will need to retain and provide new types of information.

This is a welcomed legislation and another reason why a great Property Manager is of value – they take care of the paperwork!

Enforcement measures being strengthened: The Regulator (the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) will have new measures to take action against parties who are not meeting their obligations.

While we are yet to have detailed information about what this means, meeting obligations is essential to successful property management.

Changes to Tenancy Tribunal jurisdiction: The Tenancy Tribunal can hear cases and make awards up to $100,000. This is a change from $50,000.

Fines may be awarded to tenants who bring the case to the tribunal.

These legislative changes may seem overwhelming and it is our role to understand the legislation and to be your trusted advisor.

Call 04 384 2141 to discuss the new legislation or market conditions or email enquiries@comprende.co.nz. It always starts with a conversation.

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We created Comprendé to lift the standard of services that owners – and tenants – can expect from property managers. Our unique approach centres people, proactivity and transparency, and takes the pain out of property management.

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Tenancy Legislation Changes Take Effect.

It's our job to support owners and tenants through these changes, so we’ve collated our thoughts on a few key topics below.
Anita Smith, Senior Property Manager, Comprende'.
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