New Zealand Labour Party

Making life better for renters

Renting has become a long-term reality for many New Zealanders. In fact, approximately one third of all New Zealand households currently rent their home. However, our laws around renting have simply not kept up.

We're committed to making life better for renters. We need to make sure everyone's rights are protected, and everyone has the chance to feel at home.

The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (RTA) is the main piece of legislation that regulates interactions between landlords and tenants.

Reforming the Residential Tenancies Act will ensure the rights of renters to a secure, healthy and decent place to call home.

Our reform focuses on three areas of the RTA: tenancy agreements, boarding house tenancies, and compliance arrangements. 

We want to make sure renters are safe and secure in their homes, while protecting the rights and interests of landlords. 

We're keeping up with the times, modernising the law so it can appropriately respond to changing trends and patterns in the housing and rental markets.

And we're promoting improved standards and accountability for boarding houses.

MBIE is currently consulting on a range of proposals, including limiting rent increases, and increasing the amount of notice a landlord must give before terminating a tenancy.

Many renters wish to own pets, but landlords can say no to pets in all instances without needing to consider the nature of the pet or the condition of the property. We're considering whether this can be made fairer while also insuring that the law allows landlords to protect themselves against the additional wear and tear that some pets can cause.

We're also reviewing modifications tenants wish to make to their home. The law already allows tenants to make reasonable modifications to their home, e.g. install a shelf or hang pictures. It does this by specifying that landlords should not withhold their agreement for these things unreasonably.  We want to check if this law is understood and working properly. 

We know the vast majority of landlords operate with integrity and seek to provide decent accommodation at a reasonable rent. The reforms being considered are designed to stop exploitative behaviour by a minority of landlords.

We want to ensure that the RTA strikes a balance between protecting a landlord’s interest in their property and ensuring tenants receive fair rights for the rent they are paying. That's why we’re calling on everyone to have their say and to be part of the process. We want hear your views on how best we strike the balance between tenants and landlords.

Have your say - more info and a link to an online submission survey are available here.

Consultation runs for eight weeks and closes at 5pm, on Sunday 21 October 2018.