Yesterday on the 20th February the first reading of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill was passed by Parliament.
Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi, who introduced the Bill, told the House that the rental market today is very different to the one which existed when the original Residential Tenancies Act came into force in 1986.
He went on to say since 1986, home ownership rates have declined and 609,700 New Zealand households now live in a rented property, with more people including families and older people, renting for longer or even for life.
That means that by last year an estimated 32% of the population rented as compared to 25% in 1986. Further, 43% children under 15 years-old live in rental accommodation now, as compared to 26% in 1986.
Kris Faafoi said the reforms are not just about much needed protections and security of tenure for tenants, but also clearer processes and certainty for landlords.
Following Kris Faafoi, twelve MPs from different parties then spoke on the Bill before it went to vote.
The Bill was strongly supported by representatives of the Labour, NZ First and Green parties and strongly opposed by representatives of the opposition.
In the end, the Bill passed its first reading in Parliament (voted 63-57). Parliament then also voted for the Bill to be reported back to the House by 22 June 2020, shortening the Select Committee process (voted 63-57).
Next Step - The Select Committee
Now the Bill has reached the Select Committee Stage landlords can have their say on the Bill. Landlords have until 25 March 2020 (33 days) to make a submission to the Select Committee.
You can read the full Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill here. For our summary of the key changes, you can read our previous article released earlier this week and also read our thoughts on the changes here.
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