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  • Landlord terminations ahead of tenancy law change

    Recent articles HERE and HERE point to:

    1. Landlords evicting tenants amid nerves about the upcoming ban on no-cause evictions.

    2. Landlords evicting anti-social tenants before changes to tenancy legislation come into force.


    The spike in evictions is a direct result of revisions to the RTA which increases risk for landlords.

    A few weeks back I used the 90 day no cause termination clause to end the tenancy of a tenant who had been with me for some time but after consideration was simply too risky to manage under new tenancy laws.

    Has anyone else here ended a tenancy as a direct result of the RTA changes?

    I am not surprised to read of the Tenants Protection Association (TPA) chief executive Penny Arthur claim that there has been a 60 per cent increase in tenants seeking help with no-cause terminations over the last three months compared to same time last year.

    That is sad. It is sad because it was avoidable.

    Had Government listened to industry advice from the Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ), Property Investors Federation (NZPIF) and others on the adverse effects on tenants should the 90-day no-cause notice cease to exist – Penny would not be seeing this spike.

  • #2
    Good article to read, but no surprise. With more regulations, there would be less and less rental available.

    I have not ended a tenancy because of RTA changes, i think getting new tenants could be equally or more risky.

    One part of the change is 'tenant is able to transfer interest and responsibility'. This can be used by unwanted tenants to get into rentals?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by NomoneyNotalk View Post

      [...]

      One part of the change is 'tenant is able to transfer interest and responsibility'. This can be used by unwanted tenants to get into rentals?

      Potentially yes, but the law provides that if you have “reasonable grounds” to decline the assignment you may.

      Specifically, the RTA change means that tenants have the capacity and option of assignment of tenancies.

      If a tenant makes a written request for the landlord’s consent to an assignment and the request identifies, and includes contact details for, the proposed assignee, the landlord must respond in writing to the request within a reasonable period of time.

      A landlord who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with the above commits an unlawful act.

      The landlord must not withhold consent unreasonably; or attach any unreasonable conditions to the consent. A landlord who unreasonably withholds consent or attaches unreasonable conditions to the consent, commits an unlawful act.

      When a landlord commits an unlawful act, the tenant can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for exemplary damages. In deciding how much the exemplary damages will be the Tenancy Tribunal will consider how serious the unlawful act is and what impact it’s had on the tenant. Further if the unlawful act is deemed to be discriminatory the penalty is $4000.


      Comment


      • #4
        Can we please - here on the PT Forums - not fall victim to the nasty, egregious spin put on certain things / words by the gummint and partisan anti-LL groups.

        The general use and abuse of deceptive language is another thing that PI Associations should make clear in their media pronouncements. One or two media sources are slowly picking up on it, but only a few.

        There is no such thing as a no cause eviction except in the rarefied air of the fantasy world where the W'g'ton socio-commie woodenheads congregate.

        There is always a cause and it if given by a LL, it is a tenancy termination Notice.

        Not an eviction.
        Such a thing usually comes from the TT Kangaroo Kourt and is rare.

        The word 'eviction' has a certain emotive connotation - which is why it gets used by the gummint and its spin doctors when referring to LLs and tenants in the same context. The RTA uses the word only twice - in respect of squatters and trespassers.

        What the legislation changes prescribe are:

        * a prohibition on no-reason-being-given-by-the-LL for tenancy terminations;

        * a set of reasons which are considered acceptable, plus the ability for tenants to contest LL-issued tenancy termination notices.

        The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passed last month will end “no-cause” evictions under which a landlord can end a periodic tenancy for any reason with 90 days’ notice, or 42 days if they are selling the property. From February, landlords will have to give a reason to end the tenancy . . .
        At least the expression no cause was put in quote marks and the next sentence referred to give a reason. Slight progress. The end a periodic tenancy for any reason is disingenuous, as the matter deals with no reason being given.


        And why is it that the media (and NZPIF, publicly) have seemingly stoically ignored the assignment provision, mentioned by NomoneyNotalk?

        If I understand it correctly, that provision could result in assignment in perpetuity - almost. Something that de facto removes LLs private property rights.

        Years ago, I recall reading about for-hire, tenancy-breaking organisations in the USA. I wonder if we might see that happen in NZ?

        Want a great looking concrete swimming pool in Hawke's Bay? Designer Pools will do the job for you!

        Comment


        • #5
          Fair point on the use of language Perry.

          In citing the news I used their language. In mentioning my response I used mine i.e. “end of tenancy”.

          As to why NZPIF have not spotlighted the assignment clause – I’m not sure. Perhaps they are of the opinion that given the landlord retains the right to conduct necessary vetting and checks on the assignee, this is not an issue?

          But the shift is nonetheless significant because a landlord must decline in writing stating reasons and these reasons can subsequently be challenged at tribunal and adjudged for how “reasonable” they are. How reasonable is it to decline an assignee where a credit check shows a payment default from three years ago? Well now the tribunal gets to decide….

          My feeling is that NZPIF is under resourced and underfunded and is never going to be the Rottweiler you’d like it to be Perry.

          Ditto APIA where – unbelievably – the new head has come out with a press release chastising a segment of landlords as being self-serving and causing harm to tenants and communities. How’s that for representation? Part of the solution in her view is engagement and collaboration with tenant advocacy groups – doubtlessly many of the same groups whom are calling right now for rent controls, wealth taxes and “the SHIFT” – the recognition of “housing as a human right, not a commodity or an extractive industry.”


          But of all the RTA changes the loss of the provision allowing landlords to terminate a tenancy without cause, by providing 90 days’ notice is the most troubling - for both landlords and current tenants.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sanya View Post
            My feeling is that NZPIF is under resourced and under-funded and is never going to be the Rottweiler you’d like it to be Perry.
            I don't think it's that hard if the right people were in the appropriate places. Maybe it's less under-funded and more a matter of bad budgetting and mis-spending of existing income?

            Also seems a bit chicken and egg. If the NZPIF was a strong, realistic and clarion voice for LLs, more LLs may be inclined to join. Instead, it's chosen to "be nice," so it can cosy up to the gummint. The NZPIF certainly charges like a wounded buffalo for its annual talkfest.

            As for basic human right waffle, why stop at housing? Why is rest excluded? Food? Warmth? Clothing? To be consistent (joking) let the social engineers target the commercial suppliers of those last three things while they're at it.

            As for the words used, the spin doctors seek to define the debate by adroit use of sophistry, euphemisms and sly, borderline deception.

            How many knew that the word eviction appears just twice in the RTA and relates to squatters and trespassers? Yet the media use it frequently in deceptive ways when referring to RTA reforms. The gummint is more careful. It's also careful to phrase things for the brain-dead, unquestioning media, with Media Release titles such as this: Fairer rules for tenants and landlords. Of course, that is not true, but because a Ministerial media release uses those words, the media take it as true.

            And never overlook that the gummint - in part - exempts itself from the constraints of its own legislation.
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            Comment


            • #7
              There is a lot of confusion about termination issues. I have today written to Tenancy services asking for some clarifications, and have suggested others write as well for clarification of their personal situations. Auto response from Tenancy Services was that they are dealing with a lot of requests (well fancy that) so may take 2 to 4 days to respond.

              I will post my request and their response when it arrives.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by NomoneyNotalk View Post

                One part of the change is 'tenant is able to transfer interest and responsibility'. This can be used by unwanted tenants to get into rentals?
                Yeah, this is pure madness and shows total disrespect to property owners.

                cheers,

                Donna
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                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sanya View Post
                  Potentially yes, but the law provides that if you have “reasonable grounds” to decline the assignment you may.

                  Specifically, the RTA change means that tenants have the capacity and option of assignment of tenancies.

                  If a tenant makes a written request for the landlord’s consent to an assignment and the request identifies, and includes contact details for, the proposed assignee, the landlord must respond in writing to the request within a reasonable period of time.

                  A landlord who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with the above commits an unlawful act.

                  The landlord must not withhold consent unreasonably; or attach any unreasonable conditions to the consent. A landlord who unreasonably withholds consent or attaches unreasonable conditions to the consent, commits an unlawful act.

                  When a landlord commits an unlawful act, the tenant can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for exemplary damages. In deciding how much the exemplary damages will be the Tenancy Tribunal will consider how serious the unlawful act is and what impact it’s had on the tenant. Further if the unlawful act is deemed to be discriminatory the penalty is $4000.
                  Some discussion earlier at the below thread.

                  This week there is media talk about Wellington students and their problems finding accommodation. Reference to hundreds of enquiries and students having to work a 40 hour week while studying full time just to pay their living costs. Mostly quoting student reps and imo exaggerated. Prime candidates to try to assign a tenancy to mates. Landlords will have to be prepared to apply a proper and documented process to deciding to accept or not. The Tenancy Tribunal wouldn't be too pleased if the landlord's only reason to decline was - I drove past their current place and it was an absolute tip.

                  https://www.propertytalk.com/forum/f...ment-nz/44180-

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That thread is very long, Artemis. Anything in particular that should have forumites attention?
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                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sanya View Post
                      Has anyone else here ended a tenancy as a direct result of the RTA changes?
                      We have an "owner" who is in Britain and wanting to get back. I use the word "owner" loosely as the property is owned by a family trust.

                      We have terminated a perfectly good, highly desirable tenant whom we feel for. The property will remain vacant for months (years?) until the owner gets back from their trip. They have had three/four plane bookings cancelled already.

                      www.3888444.co.nz
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                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NomoneyNotalk View Post
                        One part of the change is 'tenant is able to transfer interest and responsibility'. This can be used by unwanted tenants to get into rentals?
                        We will have a comment on this in our tenancy agreement along the following lines:

                        Any transfer of interest of this tenancy will require the incoming applicant to pass the same standard of acceptance as the original applicant to this tenancy.

                        www.3888444.co.nz
                        Facebook Page

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Keys View Post
                          . . . will require the incoming applicant to pass the same standard of acceptance as the original applicant . . .
                          How are we to know that the TT Kangaroo Kourt will accept such 'standards?'

                          Want a great looking concrete swimming pool in Hawke's Bay? Designer Pools will do the job for you!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Perry View Post
                            That thread is very long, Artemis. Anything in particular that should have forumites attention?
                            I don't think threads are searchable, Could do an Advanced search in the thread on my name as I posted about assignments a few times and there were responses.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Perry View Post
                              How are we to know that the TT Kangaroo Kourt will accept such 'standards?'
                              I have an enquiry pending with Tenancy Services asking about 'reasonable'. And the basis for their response - real or just made up. I will not consider it sufficient to be told that the TT will decide on a case by case basis. Still landlords can take the initiative and start lodging TT applications.

                              Time to ask TS and the Housing Minister a whole lot of questions - I'd very much like to see many many landlords and tenants ask questions about their personal situation, especially in the light of the new rules. The TS FAQ is very long, and some of it looks like opinion (made up). Not good enough. It's a massive sector and impacts many people's lives.

                              Comment

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