If you’re planning to become a landlord or tenant, speak to us about preparing a tenancy agreement to meet the new Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2019.

Existing tenancy arrangements should also be revised to ensure they are compliant.

If tenants damage a rental property due to careless behaviour, they will now have to pay the cost of the damage up to a maximum of four weeks’ rent or the landlord’s insurance excess, whichever is the lower.

This ensures tenants are not responsible for unreasonable repair costs, but also that landlords don’t have to foot the entire repair cost as a result. Intentional damage is still the responsibility of tenants.
Landlords must now provide insurance details to their tenants, and with existing tenancies, this information can now be requested from the landlord.

Meth contamination testing can now be conducted by landlords by giving tenants at least 48 hours’ notice. Tenants must be notified of the testing and have the right to see the results. Landlords cannot rent premises they know are contaminated at an unacceptable level.

The definition of ‘residential premises’ has been amended so even if a premise cannot be legally lived in, such as a garage, but is lived in or intended to be lived in, it still falls within the definition, and the jurisdiction of the Tenancy Tribunal.