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Unlawful dwellings The Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) Amendment Bill (No 2) 2017

The Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) Amendment Bill (No 2) 2017 is currently going through Parliament and is set to be introduced later this year.

A number of recent problematic issues have been addressed in the Bill including Tenant/ Landlord liability (Osaki case), Unlawful Tenancies and Methamphetamine.  These in particular are all dealt with in the new Bill and new regulations will be passed into Law later this year and become part of the Act.

However, one of Wise Property Managements immediate concerns as responsible Property Managers is the issue of Unlawful Dwellings or Dwellings without a building consent, which is also targeted in the Bill.

Some examples of Dwellings that may be unlawful;

  1. Dwelling without a building consent
  2. A Dwelling that has a building consent but is not approved for human residence (e.g. a garage)
  3. The Dwelling has a building consent for human residence, but does not have code compliance to be rented out separately (e.g. a granny flat)
  4. The Dwelling has a building consent for human residence, but the owner has added facilities such as a kitchenette
  5. The Dwelling has or had a building consent, but the owner added rooms so part of the Dwelling is unlawful (e.g. a house with an outside deck that has been closed in and is clad)

Penalties for not meeting the requirements of the Act can result in: Reduction of Rent; Refund of Rent; Early Termination; or Damages Orders which can all be imposed by the Tenancy Tribunal. 

In basic terms, under the new Bill we will need to declare that your property has a building consent and/or code of compliance that meets the standards imposed by Law. There are also new Management forms which will need to be signed to comply with the Act.

The good news is that we have some time before the new Bill is introduced and we encourage all our Clients to act sooner rather than later to address any issues that may be present in your property portfolio.

In short, the quicker we move, the less expensive any necessary remediation work or compliance costs are likely to be, as Councils will get busier and Tradesmen will inevitably become less available.

We realise that every Rental is different and the team at Wise Property Management can assess your property and circumstances quickly, discuss and recommend a course of action (if any) that needs to be taken to comply with the Act.

For example, a proposed course of action could be:

  • Obtaining the required building consents and/or codes of compliance
  • It may be that the property in the interim is re let as a smaller house whilst compliance is being sought.
  • Serve a 90-day notice to your tenants and re-sign under a new agreement. This will free us up to remedy any major issues and minimise your risk
  • Nothing required, you are fully compliant

More information on the above can be obtained by clicking the link Here:

Please call or email one of the Wise Property Management team on 09 268 9473 to make an appointment to discuss your property.