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New laws for careless tenant damage, unlawful tenancies

Landlords and tenants will both benefit from a Bill that clears up liability for careless damage to a rental property which passed its final reading in Parliament today.

“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,” said Kris Faafoi.

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.

“This is part of our comprehensive and ambitious plan for reform in the tenancy space. We are improving our tenancy laws so that tenants and landlords are protected and can have clear expectations before going into a tenancy,” Kris Faafoi said.

“Through this Bill, we are committed to making sure that tenants are living in safe homes while also making sure properties are not being vacated when the risk is low.”

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