February 2021 Tenancy Law Changes


As of February 11, 2021 there will be more changes made to the tenancy legislation. Please see below a summary of what these changes will involve.

Security of Rental Tenure- landlords cannot end a periodic tenancy without a reason by giving 90 days notice. New notice periods and termination grounds will be in place for periodic tenancies.

Fixed Term Tenancies- all fixed term tenancies will roll into periodic tenancies unless both parties agree otherwise, the tenant gives their 28 days notice or the landlord gives appropriate notice as per the termination grounds for periodic tenancies.

Minor Changes to Properties- tenants can ask to make changes to the property and landlords cannot decline if the change is considered minor. Landlords must respond to the tenants request within 21 days.

Rental Bidding- rentals must be advertised with the rent price listed. Landlords cannot invite or encourage tenants to bid on the property. I.e. pay more than the advertised rent amount.

Fibre Broadband- tenants can ask to have fibre installed and landlords must accept if it can be installed at no cost to the owner. Unless there are exemptions preventing installation.

Privacy and Access To Justice- a suppression order can remove names and identifying details from published Tenancy Tribunal orders if a party who has applied for a suppression order is successful or if this is in the interests of the parties and public.

Assignment of Tenancies- all requests to assign a tenancy have to be considered. Landlords cannot unreasonably decline. If a residential tenancy agreement prohibits assignment, it is of no effect.

Records- not providing a tenancy agreement in writing will be an unlawful act and landlords have to retain and provide new types of information.

Enforcement Measures Made Stronger- the regulator (Ministry, Business, Innovation and Employment) will have new measures to take action against parties who aren’t meeting their obligations.

Tenancy Tribunal Jurisdiction Changes- the tenancy tribunal can hear cases and make awards of up to $100,000. This used to be $50,000.

These changes can be hard to get your head around so if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call.