The RTA Amendment Bill No. 2

The RTA Amendment Bill No. 2 has now passed its third reading and will be signed off into law shortly.

The five key points of this Act that you should know right now;

  1. How much careless damage will tenants be liable for? The old law had been reinstated following the Osaki Court of Appeal decision.  Tenants can now be sued for negligent damage, but only claim the lesser of the landlord’s insurance excess or fours weeks rent as a maximum.
  2. What information will need to be supplied with the tenancy agreement? Landlords must include a written statement with the tenancy agreement saying they are either insured or not insured.  If the premises are insured, the statement must outline how the insurance covers tenant liability.  A landlord can be penalised $500.00 if they fail to do this.
  3. How does this Act affect unlawful tenancies? Tenants can now terminate a tenancy by giving two days’ notice if they believe the rental premises are unlawful.  An unlawful premise is a dwelling that can not lawfully be occupied for residential purposes.  A good example is a garage.  If the rental property is found to be unlawful.  The Tenancy Tribunal may order the landlord to pay back all the rent the tenant has paid.
  4. How does this Act affect methamphetamine? Note; methamphetamine under this Act will be known as a contaminant.  This will give landlords a right to perform inspections for contaminants with just 48 hours’ notice.   Landlords can be made liable for exemplary damages for knowingly renting out a contaminated property. Landlords cannot continue to rent out a property or start a new tenancy if the property is contaminated. Under this Act, the Governor General may order regulations creating a new maximum level and with the Gluckman report still interrupting this space, expect that to happen.
  5. What do I need to do now? Most of the Act will come into force 28 days after it is signed off at the Royal Assent stage.  For now, we need to update new tenancy agreements with an insurance statement before this date.  For current tenancies, you need to supply this information only if the tenant requests it within a reasonable time.

All credit goes to Tenancy Practice Service where we wisely glean our information.