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The Labour government just recently, introduced further legislation that will change the Residential Tenancies Act. In a surprise move the Housing Minister Phil Twyford announced a new bill do make it illegal to charge tenants letting fees – previously it was thought by many that this would be part of a raft of changes planned for the RTA.
However it should come as no surprise - the Labour government campaigned on making it easier for tenants to rent homes and indicated changes that would cater to a growing tenant population.
It is unfortunate in my opinion that removing tenant letting fees hasn’t been done in conjunction with other mooted changes – such as allowing landlords to hold tenants responsible for careless or reckless damage to property. While there is currently a bill before parliament to deal with this situation, there are likely to be some minor changes made before it is passed into law.
Removing tenant letting fees for tenants will have a huge impact on the market, although how far that impact goes won’t be known for some time.
I think it’s fair to expect landlords will prefer longer term tenancies and whereas 12 month tenancies have been the norm in Canterbury for some time, potentially we will see much longer term tenancies in the future.
We may also see landlords look to increase weekly rents, to recover costs if Property Managers transfer the cost to the landlord.
We’ll continue to keep you up to date with legislation changes.