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Why New Tenancy Law Changes Are a Win-Win for Tenants and Landlords

This morning the government unveiled impending changes to tenancy laws, including the return of the 90-day no-fault termination to the landlord’s toolkit. While this news may raise concerns among tenants, the Auckland Property Investors Association (APIA) urges a closer look at the potential benefits for both parties involved.

Sarina Gibbon, APIA’s general manager, sheds light on the context behind this move: “The last government removed the 90-day no-fault termination to shore up tenants’ security of tenure. Ironically, the removal had created a barrier for some tenants to get a rental in the first place.” In the midst of a rental crisis, where demand often outstrips supply, restoring this termination option could be a game-changer.

“It’s all hands on deck time,” Gibbon emphasises. “We need more rentals, not less.” Restoring no-fault termination will encourage property owners to return their properties to the rental pool. This influx of available rentals could provide tenants with much-needed choice and potentially alleviate rental inflation pressures.

However, amidst discussions of these changes, tenants shouldn’t buy into the narrative that their homes are suddenly less secure or that landlords will terminate tenancies at the drop of a hat. APIA underscores the importance of understanding the nuanced implications of the proposed amendments.

While the return of the 90-day notice is indeed a significant aspect of the proposed changes, it’s essential to consider the broader context. The restoration of the old fixed-term tenancy rollover rule and clarification on the enforceability of no-smoking indoor clauses are also poised to benefit landlords, fostering a more balanced rental landscape.

Sarina Gibbon further highlights the need for caution and ethical business practices among landlords: “It is on landlords to act with restraint, demonstrate moral leadership, and exercise ethical business practice by not abusing no-fault termination. It is not in anyone’s interest for tenants to be fearful and uncertain.” She adds, “We don’t just need good laws; we also need more trust and better collegiality between landlords and tenants for the rental sector to function as it should.”

APIA acknowledges the need for caution as the legislative process unfolds. Details may evolve, and it’s crucial for both landlords and tenants to stay informed and engaged throughout this period of transition.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a rental market that serves the interests of all parties involved. By encouraging property owners to re-enter the rental market, these changes have the potential to increase supply, provide choice for tenants, and contribute to a more sustainable rental ecosystem in New Zealand. For more information on these impending tenancy law changes and their potential impact, stay tuned to APIA’s updates and resources.

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