Landlords: More tenancy law changes

Recent changes to tenancy laws affect many aspects of residential tenancies, including:

  • how you can end a tenancy
  • rent bidding when you seek new tenants
  • responses to tenants’ requests to make changes to your property.

These are the latest in a series of tenancy law changes.

What you need to know and do

When: From 11 February 2021

What: Multiple changes to tenancy laws, which include:

  • Ending tenancies: Landlords and property managers can no longer end a periodic tenancy without reason just by giving 90 days’ notice.

Giving notice to end a tenancy(external link) — Tenancy Services

  • Responses to tenants’ requests to make changes: You can’t refuse if a tenant wants to make a minor change to your property, eg installing picture hooks or curtains. Tenants must ask before doing anything and you must get back to them within 21 days. A change is minor if it’s unlikely to damage your property, poses no risk to health and safety, and needs no council consent. It must also be easily removed, so your property can be returned to a substantially similar condition at the end of the tenancy.
  • Ban on rent bidding: You must now include a price when advertising a rental property. You can’t encourage would-be tenants to pay more than this advertised price. For example, if someone really wants to rent your property, you can’t tell them they can beat out other people by paying more than the asking price.

All tenancy law changes(external link) — Tenancy Services

Other recent law changes

The February 2021 updates are the latest in a series of tenancy law changes. Other changes include providing a healthy homes compliance statement with most new or renewed tenancies.

New rules on healthy homes

Key dates for landlords

From 12 August 2020: Rent increases limited to once every 12 months. Previously it was once every 180 days (six months).

From 11 February 2021: Several law changes to the Residential Tenancies Act took effect, as outlined above.

From 1 July 2021: All private rentals must comply with healthy homes standards within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy.

From 1 July 2021: All boarding houses must comply with healthy homes standards.

From 1 July 2023: All houses rented by Kainga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand) and registered Community Housing Providers must comply with healthy homes standards. 

From 1 July 2024: All other private rentals must comply with healthy homes standards. This means fixed-term tenancies that have not renewed since 30 November 2020. 

Healthy homes standards compliance dates(external link) — Tenancy Services

Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020(external link) — Tenancy Services

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