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Sensible decision helps protect communities

31 July 2009

Sensible Tribunal decision helps protect communities

The NZ Property Investors’ Federation (NZPIF) is pleased with yesterday’s decision from the Wellington Tenancy Tribunal allowing Housing New Zealand (HNZ) to give tenants 90 day notices.

“Both private and Government landlords need the ability to protect the rights of their tenants and neighbours from the harmful actions of other tenants” said Federation President Martin Evans. “All tenants need to be aware that there will be ramifications if their actions, or the people with whom they associate, cause harm to their neighbours and communities.”

Housing NZ served 90-day notices to a group of their tenants after neighbours in their state housing block complained about intimidation, threats and burglary.

NZPIF President, Martin Evans, said that this is a perfect example of how a 90 day notice should be used to protect the right of tenants and neighbours to live in a peaceful environment.

The topic of landlords’ ability to give 90 day notices to tenants was raised this week at the social services select committee hearing into changes to the Residential Tenancies Act. Some tenant groups claim that landlords should have “just cause” to be able to give tenants notices to vacate their rental properties.

Currently under the RTA, landlords do not have to provide any reasons for ending tenancies by issuing 90 day notices, just as tenants do not have to give any reasons when giving 21 days notices to end their tenancies.

The Federation advised the select committee that if just cause had to be proven then it would be extremely difficult to remove problem tenants. Landlords would have to prove that these tenants were either breaking their tenancy agreements or breaking the law. “Sometimes it is impossible to achieve this” said Evans “and this means that landlords would be powerless to evict problem tenants. The end result would be that responsible tenants would be forced to leave their homes and communities. Clearly this would be an unjust situation”.

The Tenancy Tribunal decision is a clear signal that the 90 day notice is fair and an essential tool for rental property owners. This enables them to protect their property as well as the rights of other tenants and neighbours.



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