New Zealand Law Society

Navigation menu

Proposed changes to residential tenancy laws announced

30 August 2018

The Government has announced proposed changes to overhaul residential tenancy laws.

The proposed changes will see no-cause tenancy terminations come to an end, a limit to rent increases to once a year and will also address the ‘rent bidding’ issues.

The government’s four proposed reforms for the over thirty-year-old Residential Tenancies Act 1986 are:

  1. Improve tenants’ security and stability while protecting landlords’ interests;
  2. Ensure the law appropriately balances the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords and helps renters feel at home;
  3. Modernise the legislation so it can respond to the changing trends in the rental market; and
  4. Improve the quality of boarding houses and the accountability of boarding house landlords.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford addressed current renting issues at a press conference in Wellington saying that the government wants to make a “generational reset of the way we rent…because, at the moment, it’s a miserable and pretty punishing existence for many renters...”

“It’s not about picking a new system off the shelf,” said Mr Twyford.

“We’ve got to design something that works here and now for us in New Zealand.”

A summary document of the current renting rules and proposed reform and a discussion document on reform proposals is now available on MBIE’s website, with comments due by 5pm, 21 October 2018.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019