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Tenancy law changes in 2021 - Mortlock McCormack Law | Property and Commercial Law | Christchurch, New Zealand
Tenancy law changes in 2021 - Mortlock McCormack Law | Property and Commercial Law | Christchurch, New Zealand
Tenancy law changes in 2021 - Mortlock McCormack Law | Property and Commercial Law | Christchurch, New Zealand
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Tenancy law changes in 2021

March 2021 Sarah Hartley

You may have heard the hype around the new tenancy laws that recently came into force. Media reports focused on the negative impact for landlords. But if you take time to familiarise yourself with the changes there is no reason the position of landlord is any more or less risky than it was prior to 11 February 2021.

The purpose of the changes is to provide good quality tenants with security of tenure, so they do not have to live with the risk of having their tenancy terminated for no valid reason and with minimal notice. Changes that seem to be causing concern are the extension of timeframes to end tenancies and the ability for the tenant to make minor changes to the property.

Prior to 11 February you could provide notice to your tenants to vacate your property within six weeks if you wanted to sell or move into the property. You did not have to follow through with this and could effectively let the property to another tenant straight away. The new rules mean you need to provide nine weeks’ notice if you are to move into the property, and just over 12 weeks if you selling, and you actually do need to move in or sell or you will be in breach of the Act.

Tenants can also request minor changes to the property that you cannot decline. Contrary to the media hype, that does not mean removing a wall. It is simply an action that can be restored at the end of the tenancy, such as installing picture hooks or curtains. These minor actions cannot damage your property and you will be consulted so you are aware of what needs to be rectified at the end of the tenancy.

There are other changes which are outlined on the Tenancy Services website but these are not as daunting as landlords may have been led to believe. If you are a landlord or considering buying an investment property, rest assured, tenants still have to pay rent and anti-social behavior is not permitted. The purpose of the recent changes is to provide a good tenant with a bit more security and if you are a good landlord that should not cause you concern.

If you need any advice on your responsibilities as a landlord please do not hesitate to contact Sarah Hartley, Senior Solicitor (DDI 03 343 8388 / sarahh@mmlaw.co.nz).