25th September 2019

Compliance requirements for properties rented out under Residential Tenancies continue to increase.

This CPT Update gives an overview of the most recently enacted requirements.

On 30th July 2019 the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2019 was passed which makes changes around tenant damage and meth contamination.  The Act –

  • Limits tenants’ liability for careless damage in rental properties to the landlord’s insurance policy excess or four weeks rent [whichever is less].
  • Re-opens the ability for the landlord to recover against the tenant for damage, albeit on a very limited basis.
  • Allows tenants to share in and receive protection from the landlord’s insurance policy.
  • Means that landlords must provide confirmation of insurance cover to all new tenancies and their existing tenants on request.
  • Prevents insurers from pursuing tenants for unintentional damage [i.e. careless or accidental damage].
  • Allows for regulations to be made to address how contamination [e.g. meth] of rental properties is tested and managed.
  • Gives the Tenancy Tribunal full jurisdiction over cases concerning premises that are unlawful for residential purposes, such as garages and sleep-outs, which don’t meet minimum requirements for renting.
  • Protects tenants living in those unlawful premises, as the Residential Tenancies Act will now apply to them.
  • Gives Tenancy Services the ability to take enforcement action against landlords who rent properties which don’t meet minimum standards.

The main change that immediately affects parishes is the requirement to provide confirmation of insurance cover to all new tenancies [from 27th August 2019] or on request to existing tenants.  Failure to provide the certificate will result in a $500 fine, payable to the tenant.

The new Act effectively allows the tenant to share in and receive the benefit of the insurance arranged by the landlord.

CPT has prepared the attached standard Insurance Statement.

Can you please ensure that either the parish Property Manager, or third party Property Manager, responsible for overseeing residential properties rented out under a Residential Tenancy Agreement has a copy of the Insurance Statement so that it can be attached to any new Residential Tenancy Agreements and is available to existing tenants on request.