Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Residential Tenancies Changes Introduced

May 3 2002

Law changes giving greater protection to boarding house tenancies and taking a tougher approach to landlords of substandard houses were introduced into Parliament by Housing Minister Mark Gosche today.

The main provisions of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill include:
Extending the coverage of the Residential Tenancies Act to cover boarding house tenancies
Toughened the Act to allow for exemplary damages of up to $3000 for landlords who do not upgrade substandard houses.

"Those living in boarding houses are often among the most vulnerable in our communities. They are often without family or support and unable to afford or cope with other forms of accommodation.

“Similarly, those living in substandard houses can be very vulnerable. Statistics indicate that rental properties house mainly young people such as students, sole parents, Mäori and Pacific peoples and those on low incomes. These are often the people who have the greatest difficulty accessing adequate housing. If rental accommodation is substandard, it is most likely affecting the very people who are already at risk.”

The changes for boarding house tenants mean:
Some of the Residential Tenancies Act's protection for general tenants will be extended to cover those using a boarding house as their home.
New provisions will be provided to regulate how a boarding house tenancy can be ended, including notice periods required, rules for what happens to abandoned possessions and the payment of bonds.

The Bill stipulates the rights and obligations of boarding house landlords and tenants, and enables them to take their disputes before the Tenancy Tribunal.

“Boarding house landlords will have to give shorter notice periods to terminate tenancies. There will also be no obligation on boarding house landlords to lodge bonds but a tenant in a boarding house who feels that a landlord has unjustifiably retained the bond can make an application to the TenancyTribunal.

“The boarding house owner will not need to go to the Tribunal to terminate a tenancy. However, if the tenant feels at any time that the landlord is acting unjustifiably or outside of the law they can take the matter to the Tenancy Tribunal.”
The legislation has also taken into consideration the boarding house tenants’ need to have flexibility, and therefore provides for the tenant to be able to give 48 hours notice, which is significantly less than for general tenancies, Mr Gosche said.

“One of the main advantages of this legislation will be that both boarding house landlords and tenants will be able to use Tenancy Services’ mediation and Tenancy Tribunal services to resolve their disputes.”

The Bill also includes provisions that will enable the Tenancy Tribunal to award a penalty against landlords who intentionally provide substandard housing.

“The changes to penalities for landlords of substandard houses mean that the government is sending a very clear message to all landlords that substandard housing will not be tolerated.”

Under the existing provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act a tenant can go to the Tribunal and ask for a work order to get a landlord to do repairs or maintenance. However there is no penalty for landlords who intentionally or continuously provide substandard housing, or who don’t comply with a Tenancy Tribunal ruling to carry out work on the property.

The Bill also
Clarifies some sections of the Act, including confirming that landlords are liable for waste water charges and fixed charges on water;
Ensures that tenants will be liable for damage caused intentionally or carelessly even though the landlord may have taken insurance;
Makes real estate agents charge the letting fee to landlords rather than tenants. Those landlords who choose to advertise through a Real Estate Agent will pay the letting fee in the same way that a vendor who sells property pays the agent a commission.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election