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Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 - November 2010

Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2010 came into force on 1 October 2010 and contains some important changes to the law which will be of interest to our landlord and tenant clients.

The Act updates and clarifies the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants and as a result a new tenancy agreement and bond forms have been produced by the Department of Building and Housing.

Some of the key features in the Amendment Act are:

1.              Fixed term tenancies – these will revert to a periodic tenancy on the expiry date of the fixed term unless either the landlord or tenant gives notice;

2.              Terminating the tenancy – there are new rules where the landlord serves a notice of termination on a tenant, for example landlords are required to set out the reasons for termination if they are giving less than 90 days notice;

3.              Unlawful acts – a number of additional acts have been specified including interfering with the supply of services (eg, electricity) and the interference with the means of escape from fire;

4.              Landlord going overseas – a landlord is required to appoint a New Zealand based agent and notify the tenant and (where a bond is held) the Department of Building and Housing if the landlord is going overseas for more than 21 consecutive days;

5.              Abandoned goods – new rules apply for landlords dealing with abandoned goods;

6.              Body Corporate Rules – the landlord is required to attach these to the Tenancy Agreement;

7.              Address for service – landlords and tenants can use an email address, PO Box or fax number as an alternative address for service. 

If you would like more information regarding the Residential Tenancies Act please contact Tony Walker, Partner on 303 9916, email: tony@lawworksnz.com or Sarah Edmondson, Associate on 303 9915 email: sarah@lawworksnz.com

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