New Zealand Law Society - Committees report on CPTPP, letting fee and well-being bills

Committees report on CPTPP, letting fee and well-being bills

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Parliamentary committees have released reports on three bills.

The Social Services and Community Committee has recommended by a majority that the Residential Tenancies (Prohibiting Letting Fees) Amendment Bill be passed with amendments.

The bill aims to ensure that the costs associated with letting a rental property are met by the landlord, rather than the tenant. It also seeks to reduce the upfront costs faced by some tenants when renting a property.

To achieve its aim, the bill would amend the Residential Tenancies Act to prohibit the charging of letting fees, or any other fee charged to a tenant, in respect of charges for services provided in relation to a tenancy. The bill would make it an unlawful act to charge a tenant a letting fee, with a maximum level of exemplary damages set at $1,000.

Landlords or their agents could still seek reimbursement from a tenant for expenses reasonably incurred as a result of a tenant assigning, subletting, or parting with possession of their interest in a tenancy.

The committee has recommended a commencement date of 12 December 2018.

The Governance and Administration Committee has been unable to reach agreement on whether to recommend that the Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill be passed.

The bill aims to ensure that local authorities promote the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of their communities. It seeks to do this by reinstating these aspects as one of the Local Government Act 2002’s primary purposes, which was the position prior to amendments made in 2012.

The bill also aims to restore the power of territorial authorities to collect development contributions for community infrastructure needed as a consequence of development. It seeks to do this by restoring the definition of community infrastructure to the position that existed prior to 2014.

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has released a final report on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP) Amendment Bill. This report is not able to be accessed at present.

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