Landlords given latitude over family violence and assaults

Regulations being developed around family violence and assaults on landlords will result in short termination notices.

Thursday, August 5th 2021, 6:22AM 1 Comment

The Housing and Urban Development Ministry is working on the regulations.

Details on the clauses released by Tenancy Services show tenancies can be terminated with a 14-day notice if there is family violence or the landlord is assaulted.

Tenants experiencing family violence will be able to terminate a tenancy without financial penalty.

These tenants will need to provide their landlord with at least two days’ notice, along with appropriate evidence of the family violence.

Regulations will be created to specify what will be accepted as appropriate evidence.

Once the regulations come into effect:

• The regulations will outline what the tenant must include in a family violence withdrawal notice and the acceptable forms of evidence.
• The tenant must also notify any remaining tenants within two days of withdrawing. The remaining tenants will receive a rent reduction for two weeks following the withdrawal. The law outlines how this should be calculated. This won’t apply if they are paying income-related rent. In this case, the remaining tenants should talk to their landlord.
• If the person experiencing family violence is the only tenant, the tenancy will end.

Landlord assault
A landlord will be able to issue a 14-day notice to terminate the tenancy if the tenant has assaulted the landlord, the owner, a member of their family, or the landlord’s agent, and the Police have laid a charge against the tenant in respect of the assault.

• The landlord must advise the tenant of their right to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to challenge the notice. If the tenant challenges it, the tenancy won’t end unless there is a Tenancy Tribunal order.
• The regulations will specify the information that landlords must include in the 14-day notice for termination in this situation.
• Before the regulations are developed, landlords in this situation can still apply to end the tenancy through the Tenancy Tribunal.

Tenancy Services says it is important the Government takes time to consult with relevant organisations and make sure the regulations are appropriate.

This means that landlords and tenants won’t be able to use these provisions under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 until the associated regulations come into effect.

Tags: landlords property management Tenancy Services

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Comments from our readers

On 4 August 2021 at 10:52 pm Glenn Morris said:
The RTA specifies the amendments come into force now and the government has had 12 months to write the regulations. I find it very significant that no comment is made as to what has caused the delay and when or if the regulations will issued. What is the bet they will never issue the regulations.

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