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


Tenancy Measures Introduced To Further Support COVID-19 Impacted Businesses And Tenants

The Government has introduced changes to help ease the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on both commercial and residential tenancies.

As part of the COVID-19 Response Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament, measures are being taken to help businesses resolve disputes over commercial rent, as well as provide greater certainty for landlords and tenants by protecting residential tenancies from being terminated during COVID-19 Alert Level 4.

“With regards to commercial rental situations, we have heard the concerns from business operators unable to meet full rental costs while their incomes have been hit by COVID restrictions needed to contain the spread of the virus,” Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said.

“Therefore an amendment to the Property Law Act is proposed to insert a clause into commercial leases requiring a ‘fair proportion’ of rent to be paid where a tenant has been unable to fully conduct their business in their premises due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

“Landlord and tenant would need to agree on the amount of rent that is fair. They could also agree that the clause does not apply,” Kris Faafoi said.

Arbitration will be required where landlords and tenants are unable to come to agreement about a fair rent proportion, unless they agree to an alternative dispute resolution process such as mediation.

Once the law is passed, the implied clause would take effect from today, 28 September 2021.

“The proposed law change would only apply to leases which do not already provide for adjusted rent payment terms during an epidemic emergency. Therefore, agreements made prior to 28 September 2021 to adjust rent obligations to reflect the COVID-19 situation would not be affected by the implied clause,” Kris Faafoi said.

“This change helps to ensure that landlords and tenants come to reasonable agreements about rent obligations, while still respecting agreements that have already been made.

“In principle agreements need to reflect the uniqueness of the current COVID-19 situation, and provide the means by which both landlords and tenants can share the financial burden of the impact of COVID-19 restrictions.

“The Residential Tenancies Act changes will enable restrictions against residential tenancy terminations to be switched on and off by Ministerial order – making the new changes flexible and responsive,” Associate Housing Minister Poto Williams said.

“This is about future-proofing tenancy law and provides much needed certainty and clarity for landlords and tenants,” Poto Williams said.

The changes are to be considered as a part of a short select committee process on the COVID-19 Response Legislation Bill and Ministers encourage those affected to make submissions, including from when the commercial rent clause should be effective.

© 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>>

Covid-19 & Education: NCEA And NZ Scholarship Exams To Proceed

NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have been working together to ensure exams can be managed in a safe way, so students have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned... More>>


Government: New Zealand Secures Historic Free Trade Deal With The United Kingdom
New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle the details of a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor... More>>


Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>


National: Launches Back In Business Plan

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins has today launched National’s detailed plan to save livelihoods and unleash our economy in the face of the huge damage being wrought by the extended Covid lockdown... 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