• RTA Amendment Bill Number 2 finally passes final reading

    The RTA Amendment Bill Number 2 has passed its final reading in Parliament and is now effectively law.

    This Bill, which was introduced by the previous Government in 2017, finally clears up liability for careless damage of a rental property.

    Tenants can now be sued for negligent damage but only claim to the lesser of the landlord’s insurance excess or four weeks rent. Landlords will also have to provide an insurance statement with all tenancy agreements.

    “This Bill makes practical changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 to help ensure our tenancy laws better reflect responsibility for careless damage of rental properties,” Associate Minister of Housing Kris Faafoi said.

    “These changes will provide greater certainty to landlords, minimise cost and risk, and ensure tenants have the right information when deciding if they will rent a property.”

    The Bill also deals with unlawful residential properties, such as illegally converted garages or sleep-outs, by ensuring the rights and responsibilities under Residential Tenancies Act are applied. The law for prosecuting landlords who tenant unsuitable properties is also strengthened under this Bill.

    And finally, the Bill responds to the issue of contamination by amending the Residential Tenancies Act to make it apply to contaminants more generally rather than just specifically methamphetamine. It also sets out the responsibilities of the tenant and landlord in dealing with contamination.