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  1. #1
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    Default Bill to change tenancy rules

    Bill to change tenancy rules, increase penalties introduced

    NZPA | Friday May 15 2009 - 03:41pm
    The Government has introduced a bill changing tenancy laws which it says balances landlord and tenant rights.
    The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill would update and clarify existing rental laws, Housing Minister Phil Heatley said.
    "It adjusts the balance of the Residential Tenancies Act, enabling landlords to manage their properties effectively and ensuring tenants have access to stable, good quality accommodation," he said.
    "It will protect some of the most vulnerable people -- those living in boarding houses -- but will also address risks to landlords providing rental accommodation."
    Key changes were
    * to extend the Act (including protecting access to advice, information and dispute resolution services) to more people involved in renting, such as tenants in boarding houses;
    * to clarify responsibility for outgoings by introducing overarching principles to indicate when landlords or tenants are responsible for charges such as water or rates;
    * introduce better processes for terminating and renewing tenancies;
    * increase fines and exemplary damages and introducing new sanctions to improve compliance;
    * provide for faster tenancy dispute resolution;
    * improve the enforceability of tribunal orders;
    * clarify the status of a tenancy when a sole tenant dies;
    * require the Tenancy Tribunal to terminate a tenancy where a tenant has permitted someone else to assault, or threaten to assault, specified persons (including the tenant's landlord); and
    * require landlords to disclose whether the premises have had to be cleansed under a statutory order (e.g. because the premises have been contaminated due to methamphetamine manufacture).

  2. #2
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    Phil Heatley

    15 May, 2009

    New bill champions personal responsibility

    Housing Minister Phil Heatley says the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which has been introduced into Parliament, promotes personal responsibility and choice.

    The Bill updates and clarifies existing rental laws in response to significant changes in the structure and nature of the residential rental market.

    It adjusts the balance of the Residential Tenancies Act, enabling landlords to manage their properties effectively and ensuring tenants have access to stable, good quality accommodation.

    “It will protect some of the most vulnerable people – those living in boarding houses – but will also address risks to landlords providing rental accommodation,” Mr Heatley said.

    The new Bill will:


    • extend the Act (including protecting access to advice, information and dispute resolution services) to more people involved in renting, such as tenants in boarding houses
    • clarify responsibility for outgoings by introducing overarching principles to indicate when landlords or tenants are responsible for charges such as water or rates
    • introduce clearer and fairer processes for terminating and renewing tenancies to provide an appropriate balance between flexibility and certainty of tenure
    • encourage landlords and tenants to comply with their obligations under the Act by increasing the value of existing fines and exemplary damages and introducing new sanctions
    • provide for most tenancy disputes to be resolved quickly, fairly and cost effectively
    • improve the enforceability of Tribunal orders.


    “Getting this Bill right and before Parliament was a priority for me,” Mr Heatley said.

    “We have worked quickly to develop the Bill in consultation with key stakeholders because reform of the tenancy laws has been keenly awaited by both tenants and landlords since 2004.

    “I believe the House will see the benefits this Bill will bring and I intend to ensure it becomes law as soon as possible.”

    The bill also includes provisions that:


    • clarify the status of a tenancy when a sole tenant dies



    • require the Tenancy Tribunal to terminate a tenancy where a tenant has permitted someone else to assault, or threaten to assault, specified persons (including the tenant’s landlord)



    • require landlords to disclose whether the premises have had to be cleansed under a statutory order (e.g. because the premises have been contaminated due to methamphetamine manufacture)


    What next?

    Before becoming law, the Bill will need to pass through several parliamentary stages including consideration by a select committee. Select committees usually invite public submissions on bills by placing advertisements in newspapers and on Parliament’s website.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Despite looking on the Parliamentary website I have been unable so far to find the proposed amendments. Anyone got any idea's.

  4. #4
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    Here you go: link.

  5. #5
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    This Bill needs a great deal of scrutiny. It continues on in the great tradition of Liarbor Socialists and their little sister the National Socialists. Fines are increased, rights are removed and strengthened against landlords and basic issues of fairness are not dealt with.

    Get into guys and sort out the bits you don't like and make submissions.
    Watch out for changes to tenancy agreements, FTT v's periodic; periods of notice and lots more.


    My own issue is one of rating fairness and who pays for what in any given area.e.g if water is metered by the rating authority then you can charge the tenant but if it isn't then you the landlord pay for the tenants use and waste. No no local authority is created equal so there are country wide disparities.

    Clause 23 substitutes a new section 39, which relates to responsibility for outgoings. Under the new section the landlord is responsible for all outgoings that are incurred whether or not the premises are occupied, such as general rates, insurance, and, where applicable, body corporate levies. The landlord is also responsible for outgoings for common facilities.
    The tenant is responsible for outgoings that are exclusively attributable to the tenant’s occupation of the premises or the use of the facilities. Examples of the tenant’s responsibility include charges for electricity and gas, telephone and Internet, and charges for water based on consumption.

    In MHO renters should contribute to rates and should be billed accordingly. They are the persons who use the services provided for the use of the the occupants of any house in a local body rating area. They are also entitled to be enrolled for local body elections and to vote in those elections, choosing as they do the lefty councils that spend money at the ratepayers expense.
    Many would argue for a poll tax but that is difficult to manage wherreas simply allowing for landlords to pass on rate costs,( based on days of accupation), is relatively simple.

    Look out for our own interests with these changes because history says we won't get another say for the next 20 years.

  6. #6
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    Looking at the new clause 24 section 39 it looks like we will be able to charge for specific costs of occupation, which some can do now and only if councils provide the necessary information. But lookout if you are in Auckland for the Bill does not allow for water other than metered water. i.e. the sewerage component of the water bill is not chargeable. Doubt that it is now but someone will get it in front of a tribunal for sure.
    It may be that we will be able to charge a tenant insurance during their occupation not for the structure but for their possible costs of damage etc. Yet to be tested.

    By the way thanks Superdad. Obviously didn't look in the right place.

  7. #7
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    I wonder how we could structure a thread, here on PT,
    that would enable forumites to comment on a section-
    by-section basis, thus grouping gripes or plaudits to the
    clause concerned?
    With all the Draconian new laws for residential rental LLs, perhaps AirBnB would be better? To avoid any hassle in Hawke's Bay, consult Be My Hostess. Want a great looking concrete swimming pool in Hawke's Bay? Designer Pools will do the job for you!

  8. #8
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    BTW - the link Paul provided was to
    a commentary (or explanatory notes).
    The actual Bill, clause-by-clause, is
    to be found here.

    If it's possible to set up a temporary
    area for a clause-specific discussion,
    you'll read about it, here. 'Stay tuned.'
    With all the Draconian new laws for residential rental LLs, perhaps AirBnB would be better? To avoid any hassle in Hawke's Bay, consult Be My Hostess. Want a great looking concrete swimming pool in Hawke's Bay? Designer Pools will do the job for you!

  9. #9
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    Letter to Ministers Hyde & Heatley re allowing rates to be charged to tenants.

    I would like to make a submission to add to the review.
    Mr Hyde, as Minister for Ratepayers your effort is about reducing waste, degrees of difficulty and adding more accountability to local Govt. especially in the area of feel good, do good stuff. One of the drivers of that do good stuff is people who don't have to pay for it all.
    A tenant in a rented house pays rent to the landlord who then subsidies the tenants use of local Govt.'s facilities. In commercial rentals the tenant normally pays the rates and in some Body Corporate type tenancies that also happens but in a normal residential tenancy it doesn't.
    This creates an anomaly thus; and I will use Tauranga and Rotorua as an example.
    In Tauranga we have water meters so the Tenant pays the water rates, in Rotorua it's all in the rates so the landlord pays.
    In Tauranga we pay for our own rubbish disposal so the tenant pays but in Rotorua the Landlord pays.
    Problem with the landlord paying for rubbish in Rotorua is that the council see's fit to supply ,free of charge, to the tenant ,a supply of rubbish bags. Now should that tenant move, which they do ,they then take all the bags leaving the next guy without and the landlord paying for a service that he no longer gets.
    As a result the rates on Tauranga properties similar to Rotorua properties are several hundred dollars less.
    There are three issues.
    First is that every council has a different set of rules for the same problem and depending on the make up of the council in terms of politics the council will decide on who pays.

    Second is that the person responsible for the use of the council resources in Rotorua pays nothing towards that use.(and rents don't cover this.) Water in Tauranga is a very good example. Water meters were vigorously opposed by many but installing meters dropped water used by over 30%. A major saving in cost to the council.

    Thirdly and most importantly, anyone who is a tenant in a residential tenancy can vote for the politician whose policy most favorsthe tenant, without having to concern themselves with the cost of that policy, eg water, museums, stadiums etc
    My argument is that a lot of council policy would be different if the cost was spread to tenants, for it would have a direct effect on their pockets and therefore their voting and socialists would gain less sway. ( and remember that renters are approaching 40% of the population)

    What we need to do is this.
    Add a clause to the Residential Tenancies Act that allows landlords to charge rates back to the tenant.
    This would make the charge transparent.
    I accept that there would be a vociferous wail from the renters but it could be phased in as new tenants moved into a property and or on a time basis e.g. one third each year for the next three years. or by negotiation between tenant and landlord (which would be my preferred option.

    This same ruling should also be applied to Housing NZ units for the same reason. Housing should be paying the councils for the services rended and therefore the tenants should be assuming that responsibility.
    For a community, the higher the number of residential tenancies are the more the burden is screwed against the property owner and the Council.

    I am interested in hearing your views on this.
    Thanks for taking the time to read and I am happy to explain further if necessary.


 

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