• Big changes here for boarding house owners (and those looking at acquiring boarding houses in the run up the Rugby World Cup).  They will now be subject to the Residential Tenancies Act in a number of scenarios.  For example, boarding house owners will now need to give 28 days notice that a tenancy is being terminated if there is no reason and none of the the other provisions for termination apply (threat of or actual serious damage or danger to people or property or there are arrears and proper notice of these has been given). 
  • The Tenancy Tribunal is given wider powers with its jurisdiction being increased from $12,000 to $50,000.

    The amendments make clear who is responsible for property expenses.  The landlord pays for the provision of common facilities including rates, body corporate levies and insurance.  The tenant pays for outgoings attributable exclusively to the tenant’s use and enjoyment, including electricity, gas, phone and internet, and water if charged by the supplier on the basis of consumption. 

    On the expiry of a fixed term tenancy this will now convert to a periodic tenancy if notice is not given otherwise.  This has caused confusion in the past.

    The termination processes are clarified and improved.

    New financial penalties are introduced for tenants harassing neighbours (up to $2,000) or for landlord’s providing substandard housing (up to $3,000).

    The changes take effect once regulations have been finalised, likely later this year we are told.