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Government introduce new bill to provide certainty for tenants in Alert Level 4

The government has introduced an omnibus bill which includes restrictions on terminating tenancies during COVID-19 Alert Level 4.

The draft legislation will allow restrictions against tenancy terminations to be switched on and off in response to Alert Level 4 by Ministerial order.

These changes aim to resolve many of the inconsistencies between the Alert level 4 Public Health Response Orders and the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.

The restrictions will support tenants to comply with the Public Health Response Order by staying in their tenancies and staying at home during Alert Level 4.

Under the proposed restrictions:

  • Landlords will not be able to terminate tenancies, except in limited circumstances
  • Most terminations will be postponed until after the restrictions lift
  • Landlords will still be able to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to terminate tenancies on limited grounds, such as where a tenant engages in significant anti-social behaviour or substantial property damage.

“This is about future-proofing tenancy law and provides much needed certainty and clarity for landlords and tenants,” associate Housing Minster Poto Williams said.

The bill will be referred to Select Committee shortly, where the public can provide feedback on the proposals

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