Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Rental housing law under review

Rental housing law under review

Building Issues Minister Margaret Wilson today announced the first review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.

"The residential tenancy market has changed significantly in the last 18 years," Margaret Wilson said. "A greater proportion of New Zealanders are renting their homes than ever before and more people opt to stay in rental housing long-term.

"For example, more older people and families with children now live in rented homes.

"The flipside of the equation is that more people are investing in residential rental housing, with an increase in first-time landlords and independent property managers.

"Given the changing dynamics of the rental market, a review of this legislation is well and truly due. The government wants to make sure the Residential Tenancies Act strikes the right balance between the tenants' need for affordable and stable rental housing, and the commercial needs of landlords to manage their properties efficiently."

The newly-formed Department of Building and Housing has today issued a discussion document, Getting the Balance Right, and invites all those with an interest in the residential housing market to offer suggestions on how the act might be improved.

The department will gather people's views through written submissions, public meetings and focus groups. Submissions close on 18 February 2005 and public meetings will be held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. These will be publicised on the department's website, Getting the Balance Right is also available on this website.

"I invite landlords, tenants, property managers and property investors to take the opportunity to submit their views on this legislation, so that we can make sure it works well for all New Zealanders," Margaret Wilson said.

Background information

What is the Residential Tenancies Act 1986? The act is the central piece of legislation that governs the rental housing market and the relationship between landlords and tenants. It covers rental housing in both the private and social sector, for instance rental housing owned by Housing New Zealand Corporation and local authorities. The legislation was designed to ensure an appropriate ongoing balance between the needs and obligations of landlords and tenants. This is the first major review of the Act.

How has the rental housing market changed since the Residential Tenancies Act was passed in 1986? More New Zealanders now rent their homes and proportionately fewer live in houses they own. Within the rental market, more individuals and families depend on housing provided by private landlords, rather than state or council landlords. This means that private rental housing is having a bigger impact on New Zealand’s housing, social and economic outcomes than it did in 1986.

What kind of people rent now compared with 1986? The family and individual circumstances of people renting now are more diverse than they were in 1986. Proportionately fewer young people are flatting away from home and a greater number of older people and more families with children are renting. Many of these people need or choose to rent for longer periods than they have in the past. Both tenants and landlords are more culturally diverse and for an increasing proportion, English is a second language. Some tenants have special needs for support beyond those normally provided for in standard landlord/tenant arrangements and some are particularly vulnerable or at risk.

How does this review relate to the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill? This review is separate from the current Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill that is going through Parliament. The Bill amends some specific provisions within the current legislation. For example, it will extend the provisions of the Act to include boarding houses. The review of the Residential Tenancies Act involves a far more comprehensive examination of the legislation.

How does this review relate to the NZ Housing Strategy? This review is taking place within the context of the NZ Housing Strategy, led by Housing New Zealand Corporation. The NZ Housing Strategy discussion document, Building the Future: Towards a New Zealand Housing Strategy, raised questions about aspects of housing in New Zealand, including specific questions on the private rental sector. Any submissions, comments and suggestions on rental housing and the Residential Tenancies Act received during that consultation will be considered during this review.

What is the Department of Building and Housing? The Department of Building and Housing came into being on 1 November when the Ministry of Housing was renamed and additional building functions added. The department incorporates the functions of Tenancy Services and is responsible for administering the Residential Tenancies Act and the Building Act as well as a range of other building and housing related regulation. From
30 November it will also incorporate the functions of the Building Industry Authority and a range of other functions will be added over a 14-month period.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Juggling Covid, And France’s Trump-like Populist

It is the age-old Covid problem. How to balance the needs for firms (and schools) to re-open against the need to protect public health. In the past, the balance has been struck by insisting that the best public health outcomes also deliver the best economic (and educational) outcomes. While that may still be objectively true, it is no longer a politically tenable position... More>>

RNZ: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces Cabinet decision on Covid-19 alert levels

Northland will move to level 2 at 11.59pm on 19 October. Waikato will be held at level 3, to be reviewed on Friday. Auckland will remain in level 3 with current restrictions for another two weeks... More>>



Government: Red Tape Cut To Boost Housing Supply
First home buyers are set to benefit from changes to planning rules being advanced by the Government and the National Party that will enable more medium density housing and cut red tape that acts as a barrier to development... More>>


Economy: Inflation highest in over a decade
The consumers price index rose 2.2 percent in the September 2021 quarter, the biggest quarterly movement since a 2.3 percent rise in the December 2010 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Excluding quarters impacted by increases to GST rates, the September quarter movement was the highest since the June 1987 quarter... More>>


Government: New Zealand Increases Climate Aid Contribution

The Government is making a four-fold increase in the support it provides to countries most vulnerable to the climate emergency, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today... More>>

Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>

Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>




InfoPages News Channels