Key Facts

  • New legislation affecting renters and landlords is set to be introduced to Parliament next month, says Housing Minister, Chris Bishop.
  • The legislative changes follow National’s pre-election commitments and look to undo measures put in place by the former Labour government.
  • The laws won’t come into effect until 2025, but they arrive as rental costs continue to soar in New Zealand.
  • Among the proposed alterations is the reintroduction of 90-day “no cause” terminations for periodic tenancies, letting landlords end a tenancy without giving a reason.
  • New regulations will also permit landlords to end a fixed-term tenancy at the conclusion of its term without need for a specific reason.
  • Notice periods for ending a tenancy will change, with landlords needing to give 42 days’ notice instead of 63, if they or their family members want to move into the property.
  • The government also plans to restore deductibility for mortgage interest on residential investment properties.

Article Summary

Housing Minister Chris Bishop has announced a raft of proposed changes affecting landlords and renters. This move follows promises made by National during the pre-election period, and the alterations will undo some measures established by the previous Labour government. Even though the legislation will be presented to Parliament next month, it won’t become effective until 2025. Bishop emphasised that these reforms are “sensible, pro-tenant” changes that aim to boost the supply of rental properties in New Zealand.

Among the significant amendments are the reestablishment of “no cause” terminations for periodic tenancies, which will allow landlords to conclude these tenancies without stating a specific reason. This rule change is intended to encourage landlords to take more risks with prospective tenants who might lack stellar references or permanent employment. Changes are also seen in fixed-term tenancies where landlords will regain the right to end these at term without a given reason. This was part of the government’s plan to promote more participants, especially “mum and dad landlords”, into entering or re-entering the rental market.

Additionally, the notice periods for ending tenancies will be altered. Landlords wanting to move into their property will only need to give 42 days’ notice, instead of the previous 63. The government also plans to restore mortgage interest deductibility on residential investment properties as a part of encouraging landlords. These changes come at a time when the rental growth rate hits “historically high levels”, and ongoing housing struggles affect many citizens across the country.

The government believes that these changes, including adjusting social housing rules and reintroducing interest deductibility for landlords, are desperately needed to spur more rental properties onto the market. However, the cost of living pressure combined with rising rents continues to create hardship for many such as Rose, a single mum in Auckland, who talks about the challenges she faces in securing a stable and safe home for herself and her toddler.

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