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Tenancy Tribunal reform required as no cause termination debate looms

 Unsurprisingly, it is the landlord who is making the vast majority of the applications. In 2018 over 85% of all applications were made by the landlord and so far year to date up to the end of June, those numbers remain consistent. But if you take away rent arrears which make up approximately 70% of all applications, you start to get a picture that there are an equal amount of applications and disputes between landlords and tenants. There are over 50 Tenancy Tribunal adjudicators in New Zealand operating in 38 different locations. This means on average, adjudicators will make rulings on approximately 300 cases per year. From a Property Management or landlord perspective, going to the Tribunal is a costly and time-consuming exercise, particularly when waiting times can be for so long. From a tenants perspective, you will automatically have second thoughts about taking a landlord to Tribunal as your name will show up in Tenancy Tribunal orders that are publicly available. So what can be done to speed up the process and improve the consistency of rulings? David Faulkner from Real-iQ shares his thoughts on how the Tenancy Tribunal could be reformed.    (Source: Real-iQ)

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Strong meth suspicions call for testing

 Panic around the meth contamination of rentals has diminished, but a Tenancy Tribunal decision reinforces that landlords still have an obligation to test properties when contamination is suspected. Not so long ago, the meth contamination of rental properties was one of landlords’ biggest worries. But, following the release of Sir Peter Gluckman’s report into the health risks of meth contaminated properties last year, there has been a noticeable decline in the public airing of this particular concern. That’s because Gluckman’s report recommended that a minimum standard of 15 micrograms per 100cm2 - as opposed to the NZS standard of 1.5 micrograms per 100cm2 - be adopted when assessing meth contamination in rental properties. And many organisations, including Housing New Zealand, the Real Estate Authority and the Tenancy Tribunal, have done so. However, the recommendation does not mean that meth is no longer a problem and a recent Tribunal decision highlights that landlords should act quickly when there are strong grounds for suspecting contamination.    (Source:

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Bad landlord who locked out her tenants blames them for being 'cheeky'

A Hamilton landlord ordered to pay thousands of dollars to tenants following multiple disputes says she's no villain. Angela Robb has fallen foul of the Tenancy Tribunal four times in the past 15 months, and has paid out a total of $12,034 to seven different tenants. In one case Robb told her told the tenants she was moving in with them, but when they disagreed she changed the locks and kicked them out. But Robb is adamant she's a good landlord and says tenancy disputes are unfairly weighted in favour of renters. In the Tenancy Tribunal's most recent finding, released in October, Robb was ordered to pay $2264 to former tenant Gongzhe Li after she was found to have unlawfully ended the tenancy.    (Source: Stuff)

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New ring-fencing rules in play

Landlords - don’t forget about the Government’s changes to the rules around the ring-fencing of rental losses as they are now in force, Inland Revenue is warning. Under the new “ring-fencing” rules, landlords can only claim deductions up to the amount of income they earn from rental properties for the year. Landlords must carry forward deductions over that amount, but they can use these deductions to offset rental income in future income years. The rules generally apply no matter whether the property is held in a partnership, trust or company. All rental property owners who run their rental properties at a loss will be affected. This includes so-called ‘mum and dad’ type investors with one or two rental properties, as well as bigger players with a larger portfolio. But if someone owns more than one residential rental property they can choose whether to apply the rules across their portfolio or on a property by property basis.    (Source:

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Free Personal Character Checks

 With each prospective tenant, we highly recommend you complete the free Personal Character Check before your main Tenant Check. This free check is invaluable. It runs through over a dozen sources including several international sources, and will supply you with a raft of possible, relevant information on your prospective tenant. The Personal Character Check performs instant and simultaneous searches through Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Interpol, Tenancy Tribunal, Bankruptcy and Insolvency, Court Judgements, News sites, Companies office, Police, Parole board, and Sensible Sentencing Trust. Searching parameters can be changed to research 37 other countries. Read more here



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