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Landlords and tenants to benefit from new Fasttrack

Hon Dr Nick Smith 

Minister of Housing 

30 January 2014    Media Statement 

Landlords and tenants to benefit from new Fasttrack

Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith has announced a new 'Fasttrack' process for the Tenancy Tribunal to cut the time taken to resolve rent disputes.

"This Fasttrack initiative, which will begin 1 February, will hugely reduce the time it takes to resolve the rent arrears disputes that make up 76 per cent of the 43,000 applications received by the Tenancy Tribunal each year," Dr Smith says.

"Fasttrack will allow landlords and tenants who have made a sustainable agreement about repayment of debt to have their agreement formalised by a confirmation conversation rather than a full mediation.

"The time taken to resolve Fasttrack applications was cut from 12 days to just 48 hours on average during a successful pilot late last year with three of the highest volume Tribunal service users."

Dr Smith says one of the highest volume users is Housing New Zealand (HNZC), which makes nearly 9000 rent arrears-related applications each year. Following the recent pilot, HNZC staff said Fasttrack would save thousands of hours in staff time and significantly reduce case loads.

Over the coming months, Fasttrack will be progressively rolled out to more high volume Tribunal service users, including large property management companies and Territorial Local Authority (TLA) housing providers, with the service eventually being available for all applicants.

"Fasttrack will be rolled out nationally in a staged process. Once fully implemented, there will be widespread benefits for tenants and landlords from a more efficient and effective tenancy dispute resolution process."

ENDS

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