Landlords will not be able to protect neighbours
Government has announced a raft of changes to the Residential Tenancies Act. The Minister has said he does not want to
be seen to unduly punishing landlords. These changes do more than punish landlords however. They will punish anyone
living next to a tenant with antisocial behaviour.
The NZ Property Investors Federation is the only organisation who has researched the issuing of 90-day notices. Only 3%
of tenants receive a 90-day notice each year. Nearly half of these notices are for antisocial behaviour affecting
neighbours. That is approximately 7,000 tenants causing problems for up to 70,000 households around New Zealand.
As a result of the announced changes, Government has tried to provide a tool for landlords to manage tenants with
antisocial behaviour. However it requires neighbours to put themselves at risk of retaliation from their antisocial
Currently the landlords of any of these 7,000 badly behaving tenants can efficiently end these tenancies without
involving the neighbours or the Tenancy Tribunal, by issuing a no cause 90 day notice.
If these changes go through, neighbours will have to provide three notices to the landlord before the landlord can apply
to the Tenancy Tribunal for permission to end the tenancy. The neighbours will need to put themselves at risk by
providing the landlord with proof of the antisocial behaviour. If neighbours don’t want to do this, landlords cannot
move their tenants on and it is the affected neighbours who will have to move.
If these changes go through, landlords can no longer ensure New Zealanders have safe places to live.