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Get yer stuff and get out! Some say proposed bill threatens housing security for renters

Summarised by Centrist

Myra Williamson, senior law lecturer argues that the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, if passed, could significantly impact NZ’s 1.7 million renters by reintroducing “no-cause” evictions. 

This change would allow landlords to terminate periodic tenancies with a 90-day notice without providing a reason. 

Critics argue this move undermines tenants’ rights to natural justice – the right to have the other side listen. They also argue it disproportionately affects vulnerable populations and discourages renters from reporting property issues. 

“It is hard to square how no-cause evictions could be pro-tenant. Renters will not know why they are being evicted, and they won’t be able to dispute it. They will just have to pack up and leave,” she writes. 

Williamson says that the bill’s lack of supporting evidence and potential to shift power overwhelmingly in favour of landlords and property managers (an unregulated profession) is concerning. 

“And importantly, all the other grounds for evicting renters (being behind in rent, illegal or antisocial behaviour, for example) are still going to be available to landlords. The no-cause eviction would be in addition to those. So what exactly does the no-cause eviction amendment achieve?” writes Williamson. 

Submissions on the bill are open until 3 July 2024.

Read more over at The Conversation

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