Changes to Residential Tenancies

Published by Vanessa Crosby on March 25, 2011

If you are a landlord and you are not up to date with the changes to the Residential Tenancies Act which came into effect from 1 October last year you should be.

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 has made some important changes including updating and clarifying the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants and extending the Acts coverage to include boarding house landlord and tenants.

As a landlord you should be particularly aware of the following.

  1. If there was a right in a tenancy agreement to renew or extend the tenancy, and the tenant wishes to renew or extend the tenancy, the tenant must write to the landlord advising them at least 21 days before the tenancy is due to end.
  2. Landlords and tenants have always had to provide a physical street address as an address for service but can now add an email address, PO Box number or fax number as an alternative address for service.
  3. If you, as a landlord, are going to be absent from New Zealand for more than 21 consecutive days, you must appoint a New Zealand based agent, notify your tenants of the agent’s details and the Bond Centre if a bond is held.
  4. New rules have been added for termination of a tenancy by notice. In order to issue a 42-day notice, the owner of the premises or a member of the owner’s family must require the premises as their principle place of residence. In the case of the tenant being given less than 90 days notice the notice to terminate must set out the reasons for the termination.

You can gain further information on the amendments to the Act by visiting the Department of Building & Housing website.

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