Proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act could cause damage

by Roxanne Libatique11 Nov 2019

The NZ Property Investors Federation (NZPIF) has warned that the government’s proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act could only cause damage instead of making things better.

The government wants to require landlords to state why they’re ending a tenancy then prove it at the Tenancy Tribunal instead of being able to issue a 90-day notice without providing any reason.

The NZPIF noted the proposal’s aim to protect tenants but pointed out that it could actually cause more damage, specifically to neighbours – as its survey of 1,325 rental property owners found that only 3% of tenancies are ended each year through a 90-day notice, with nearly half being issued for antisocial behaviour and disturbing neighbours.

Read more: New guidelines forbid landlords from invading potential tenants' privacy

Andrew King, executive officer at NZPIF, explained that the proposal would only protect the 3% of tenants who are behaving badly – making things worse for their neighbours.

“While the vast majority of tenants are decent people who respect others, no one wants to live next to people causing serious anti-social problems.” King said. “In my experience, if the affected neighbours are tenants then they prefer to move themselves rather than risk arguments or threats by standing up for their rights. Moving isn’t so easy for homeowners, however, and why should good people be forced to move because of the poor behaviour of others?”

He further explained that more people would “have their lives seriously disrupted” if the changes pushed through and expanded to include private rental properties.

“If New Zealanders wants landlords to continue protecting neighbours from the bad behaviour of their tenants, they need to voice their opinion loudly and quickly,” King concluded.

Most Read

NZ Adviser TV