RTA Ammendment Bill (No 2)

RTA Bill (No 2) & Our Thoughts

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2) is currently with the Select Committee (a group of MP’s from different political parties) to hear public submissions on the Bill. All submissions were to be in by 22 August 2017 so now were waiting for the report which is due on the 29th Mar 2018.

This bill amends the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 to address issues related to liability for damage to rental premises caused by a tenant, methamphetamine contamination in rental premises, and tenancies over rental premises that are unlawful for residential use.


There are three main parts to the Bill:

  1. Tenants Liability for damage
  2. Unlawful residential premises
  3. Methamphetamine in rentals


In particular, the bill aims to:

  • Make it easier for landlords to test their properties for methamphetamine.
  • Allow tenants to end their tenancy if test results show unsafe levels of methamphetamine contamination.
  • Create regulation-making powers about methamphetamine testing.
  • Clarify tenants’ liability for careless damage they may cause.
  • Strengthen the law to help prosecute landlords who rent out unlawful residential premises.

The second to last point is our main concern as we are already seeing cases where the courts are requiring the owner to prove that tenant’s damage to their property was “intentional”. Which would be impossible to prove unless you somehow legally recorded them doing it? I very much doubt they will be confessing to wilful damage. A good example of this is here: https://www.landlords.co.nz/article/6365/reckless-damage-by-tenants-not-intentional

A story where the tenants sprayed graffiti on the walls, smoked inside leaving cigarette holes in the carpet among other damage and the High Court ruled it “accidental damage”

Now more than ever you will need professional management with skilled and knowledgeable property managers who run a tight ship and whose number one agenda is the best care and best return for their client.

Talk to us today if you have concerns about how these changes may affect you and your rental property.