The Manawatu Tenants’ Union’ (MTU) celebrates yesterday’s release of the Residential Tenancies Act Reform Bill, but challenges the Minister to stil go further to improving tenancy rights.
The Bill would remove the ability for landlords to terminate a tenancy without reason and significantly increase penalties for non-compliant landlords, amongst other changes.
In particular, the Union celebrates the proposed removal of 90 day no cause termination notices. MTU Coordinator Ben Schmidt describes how,
“90 day no cause termination of tenancy notices are unfair and devastate our most vulnerable tenants. They are a constant fear in the back of many tenants’ minds when considering asserting their rights. This Bill is reason to celebrate, and can not passed into law soon enough.”
The Union pushes back against suggestions that removing the ability for landlords to terminate a tenancy for no reason will have a negative impact on communities.
“Abolishing no cause terminations enables secure tenancies and, in turn, safer and stable communties. Tenants deserve to build a dignified life and to participate in their local community; this is not possible without security of tenure and a stable home to live in.”
However, MTU has expressed concern that there is still much work to be done to improve the rights of tenants and to bring balance to the current rental market.
“Without taking action to restrict the ability of landlords to dramatically increase rents, tenants will continue to struggle to put food on the table and landlords can hold the country to ransom by threatening rent increases in response to minor reforms. The requirement for regulation of property managers and other essential tenancy protections such as rent control have yet to appear and are still urgently needed.”
MTU encourages tenants to support the Bill by speaking with their MP, media, and the Union.