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Land Law: Residential Tenancies Act commentary update (new Westlaw New Zealand)

Content updates

Land Law Residential Tenancies has new annotated commentary for various sections, with the commencement of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020.

This new commentary was written by Land Law – Residential Tenancies updating author Robyn Merrett, following the commencement of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020 in August 2020 and February 2021.

The amendments made by the new Act are broad and affect both tenants and landlords. The intention of the changes is to modernise New Zealand's rental laws and align them with the present-day realities of renting.

The commentary is updated for 50 sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (RTA), with the amending Act having made major changes:

  • Transitional and emergency housing – exempt from the RTA
  • Rent increases – limited to once every 12 months
  • Security of rental tenure – grounds for termination of periodic tenancies changed
  • Fixed-term tenancies all convert to periodic tenancies
  • Tenants allowed to make minor changes to property
  • Rental bidding prohibited
  • Privacy around name suppression – for party wholly or substantially successful in Tenancy Tribunal proceedings
  • Assignment of tenancies – landlords must consider requests
  • Landlords must provide written tenancy agreement and keep appropriate copies
  • Tenancy Tribunal may award up to $100,000

See Land Law – What's New for more details.

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