Rental housing reforms revisited

Too bad for tenants and landlords who are keenly awaiting reform to tenancy laws.

It looks like some Labour plans to protect tenants will be scrapped, such as a bothercome cap on tenants’ liablity for damage.

An e-mail from Housing Minister Phil Heatley advised Alf today he is reviewing aspects of Labour’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2).

But he is determined to return legislation “in a timely manner.”

He wouldn’t have to move too fast to outpace Labour’s reform efforts.
The Bill was introduced to Parliament in May last year after Labour (slow buggers) began consultation on it in 2004. It was intended to better clarify the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords.

The official statement hadn’t been posted on the Beehive website, when Alf wrote this. But Voxy had an account of it.

Mr Heatley says: “This Bill is well-intentioned in that it aims to encourage stable tenancies in homes which are well-looked after while enabling landlords to better manage them.”

However, concerns have been raised about some specific provisions of the Bill and matters for which provision was not made…

Examples are set out in the media statement.

Among the issues, the proposed bill was going to stop real estate agents charging letting fees. This will be reconsidered.

Heatley says –

“As Housing Minister, I have to be satisfied that what has been drafted appropriately balances the rights and obligations of both tenants and landlords.”

He is comfortable with many aspects of the Bill, but is troubled that some specific provisions may deter future provision of private rental housing.

That’s of particular concern given predicted growth in housing demand.

He has asked that the specific aspects of the Bill he has identified be considered with swift and targeted consultation.

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