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APIA Welcomes Government’s Proposed Changes To Tenancy Laws Supporting Pet Ownership

The Auckland Property Investors Association (APIA) today expressed its support for the Government’s proposed changes to tenancy laws to facilitate greater pet ownership in rental properties. The announcement, which outlines plans to introduce pet bonds and streamline the process for tenants to keep pets in rental properties, marks a significant step towards modernising the residential tenancy landscape.

The proposed changes seek to clarify the process for obtaining consent to keep pets in rental properties, addressing previous confusion surrounding the enforceability of ‘no pets’ clauses in tenancy agreements. Under the new framework, tenants will be required to seek permission from their landlords to keep pets, with landlords only able to refuse consent on reasonable grounds.

Sarina Gibbon, APIA General Manager, emphasised the importance of balancing tenants’ rights and landlords’ interests. “It’s about time the Residential Tenancies Act reflects the realities of modern living in 2024, where pets are considered part of the family,” said Gibbon. “This law needs to facilitate, not stifle, the relationships between tenants and landlords.”

Gibbon highlighted the potential benefits of the proposed changes, noting that tenants with pets often demonstrate greater commitment to their rental properties, leading to longer tenancies and better property maintenance. “For too long, landlords have hesitated to accept pet-owning tenants due to concerns about property damage. This law change has the potential to alleviate those fears and foster mutually beneficial relationships between landlords and tenants,” she explained.

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APIA acknowledges the need for laws that support both landlords and tenants, fostering a climate of cooperation rather than conflict. “We need more win-win solutions like this in our policy landscape,” said Gibbon. “The proposed changes represent a positive step towards ensuring that both landlords and tenants can enjoy the benefits of responsible pet ownership while safeguarding property interests.”

While the changes are not yet law and do not currently affect tenancies, APIA looks forward to collaborating with the government to ensure that the final legislation strikes the right balance between tenant rights and landlord interests.

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