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REINZ Calls For RTA Proposals To Be Put On Ice While Focus Is On COVID-19

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) is today calling for the proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill to be put on hold while the country deals with the effects of COVID-19.

These calls come as the Reserve Bank announced last week that it is slowing down its regulatory initiatives for an initial period of six months and similarly, the Financial Markets Authority said that it will be providing regulatory relief to market participants to give them an additional two months to provide their audited financial statements.

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “Right now, thousands of people around the country are having extremely difficult conversations with their employers as to whether they still even have a job or not. While there is a financial support package available to businesses, the reality is that this is going to impact people’s ability to pay their rent and is likely to lead to more difficult conversations with property managers and landlords. In some cases, this will lead to landlords having difficult conversations with their bank around mortgage repayments.

“While the country works through what its ‘new normal’ looks like, we’re calling on the Government to take this into consideration and put the proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill on hold,” she continues.

“Over the past few years, landlords and property managers have had to deal with extensive changes in legislation from asbestos, to a ban on letting fees through to insulation. In fact, there have been more regulatory changes for the property industry in the last few years than there has been in the previous five years. Taking that into account, REINZ is just calling for more of a ‘keep calm’ approach while everyone adjusts to the effects of COVID-19 – particularly as there has been so much opposition to some of the proposals, particularly the changes to the 90-day rule” concludes Norwell.

Independent of REINZ’s call for the RTA to be put on hold, the New Zealand Property Investors Federation has recently started a petition calling for the RTA to remain unchanged.

Submissions on the Bill close on 25 March and REINZ is encouraging as many people/organisations as possible to make submissions on the Bill in order for their voice to be heard.

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