You can make a submission up until 5pm, Sunday 21 October 2018

Foreword from Phil Twyford Minister of Housing and Urban Development:
I’m pleased to introduce this discussion document on a targeted reform of the Residential Tenancies
Act 1986 (the RTA). New Zealand is suffering a housing crisis and the Government is committed to addressing the problem on several fronts. As well as setting up KiwiBuild to build 100,000 homes for first home buyers, we’re stopping overseas buyers from purchasing existing homes in New Zealand and we’re reviewing tax settings.

Making life better for renters is another important part of our plan. We plan to modernise the law to ensure rental houses are warm and dry, and to make renting more stable and secure. In December 2017 we passed legislation to enable healthy homes standards to be set for rental properties and in March this year we introduced legislation to ban letting fees which will help reduce the price barrier some tenants face when securing a home.

Renting has become a life-long reality for many individuals and families. Home ownership is now at a 60-year low and over a third of all New Zealanders live in rental homes.

Yet our laws around renters’ rights have not kept up. They are still designed around the assumption that renting is a short-term arrangement for people without children, and renters will move frequently rather than set down roots in their community.

The RTA is the main piece of legislation that regulates interactions between landlords and tenants.
This targeted reform of the RTA builds on our other initiatives to make life better for renters and to ensure everyone in New Zealand has somewhere they can feel at home. The reform focuses on:

– improving the security and stability of tenure for tenants while maintaining adequate protection of landlords’ interests

– ensuring the law appropriately balances the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords to promote good faith tenancy relationships and help renters feel more at home

– modernising the law so it can appropriately respond to changing trends in the rental market

– improving the quality standards of boarding houses and the accountability of boarding house landlords.

As we work to restore the dream of homeownership for New Zealanders, this reform will bring the law up to date to reflect that more of us are living in rental homes and for longer periods of time.

I encourage you to share your views on the topics covered in this discussion document to help ensure our tenancy legislation is fit for purpose in the modern renting environment.

Phil Twyford

RTA Reform Discussion Document

PDF is attached and submissions close Sunday 21 October 2018