The countdown is on for all interested parties to make submissions for the Government’s controversial RTA Amendment Bill.
The Bill passed its first reading in Parliament last week and the deadline for submissions is at midnight on 25 March 2020.
“It is clear that the Government is attempting to push this Bill through Parliament before September’s election,” tenancy.co.nz legal consultant Scotney Williams said.
“This stage of the legislative process is the best chance to influence the direction of the Bill. We urge all interested parties to have their say.”
The Bill is proposing to make a number of changes, including:
– Improve tenant’s security by requiring the use of a justified reason to end a periodic tenancy, including new provisions to respond to anti-social behaviour and removing the use of no cause terminations to end a periodic tenancy agreement.
– Flatten the inflated demand that has been created in some regions by tenancies all ending at the same time by mandating that fixed-term tenancy agreements must become periodic tenancy agreements upon expiry unless both parties agree otherwise, or certain conditions apply.
– Improve compliance with the law by increasing financial penalties and giving the Regulator new tools to take direct action against parties who are not meeting their obligations.
– Remove a disincentive for parties to use the Tenancy Tribunal by allowing for identifying details to be anonymised in situations where a party has been wholly or substantially successful in taking a case.
– Make rental properties safer and more liveable by ensuring that tenants can add minor changes, such as brackets to secure furniture and appliances against earthquake risk, baby proof the property, install visual fire alarms and doorbells and hang pictures.
– Prohibit the solicitation of rental bids by landlords and limit rent increases to once every 12 months.
– Improve the process for the installation of fibre in rental properties by requiring landlords to permit and facilitate the installation of Ultra-Fast Broadband, subject to specific triggers and exemptions.