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All you need to know: Changes for tenants and landlords

By Heather Paton van der Walt

Are you a landlord, a tenant or a homeowner and not sure of the new tenancy laws or Healthy Homes and how it might affect you? We’re here to break it down for you:


The tenancy law changes have been introduced periodically since August 2020. These are coming in phases and mostly impact notice periods and disputes.

Phase 1 – 12th August 2020
  • Rent can only be increased every 12 months – From the 12th August 2020, rent increases are limited to once every 12 months. This is a change from once every 180 days previously.
Phase 2 – 11th February 2021
  • Security of rental tenure – Landlords will not be able to end a periodic tenancy without cause by providing 90 days’ notice. New termination grounds are available to landlords under a periodic tenancy and the required notice periods will change. For more information on what this means, see here
  • Changes for fixed-term tenancies – Fixed-term tenancies that are signed on or after 11 February 2021 will convert to periodic tenancies at the end of the fixed term, unless the parties agree otherwise, i.e. the tenant gives a 28-day notice, or the landlord gives notice in accordance with the termination grounds for periodic tenancies.
  • Making minor changes – Tenants can ask to make minor changes to the property and landlords can no longer unreasonably decline this request. Landlords must respond to a tenant’s request to make a change within 21 days. More information and the minor change form can be found here:
  • Prohibitions on rental bidding – Rental properties must now be advertised with a rent amount and landlords cannot invite or encourage tenants to bid on the rental or offer to pay more than the advertised rent amount.
  • Fibre broadband – Tenants can request to install fibre broadband and landlords must agree at no cost to the tenant.
  • Enforcement measures strengthened The MBIE has introduced new measures to take action against those who are not meeting the requirements.


The healthy homes standards introduce specific and minimum standards for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture and drainage, and draught stopping in rental properties.

From 1st July 2019
  • Insulation compulsory where available – Ceiling and underfloor insulation is compulsory in all rental homes (where it is reasonably practicable to install).
  • Signed Healthy Homes and Insulation statement included in all tenancy agreements – Landlords must include a signed statement with any new, varied or renewed tenancy agreement that they will comply, or already do comply, with the healthy homes standards. This must also include a signed insulation statement with all new tenancy agreements, that covers the type of insulation, the location and the the condition.
  • Landlords must include a statement of their current level of compliance with the healthy homes standards in all new or renewed tenancy agreement
From 1st December 2020
  • Landlords must include a statement of their current level of compliance with the healthy homes standards in most new or renewed tenancy agreement.
From 1st July 2021
  • 90 days to get compliant – Private landlords must ensure their rental properties comply with the healthy homes standards within 90 days of any new, re-newed, or varied tenancy.
  • All boarding houses except Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand) and Community Housing Provider boarding house tenancies must comply with the healthy homes standards
From 1st July 2024
  • All rental homes must comply with the healthy homes standards.

Still unsure if your property is complaint? Contact our Property Management team to arrange a no obligation viewing of your property, or we can refer you to our friends at Betta Inspect It for a certified inspection starting at $199+gst.

Give the Ray White Hawke’s Bay Property Management team a call today!

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