A law change strengthening the rights of around 1.5 million tenants could be passed soon because it appears on tomorrow's Parliamentary order paper.
The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill is due for its second reading in the House tomorrow.
That alarmed the NZ Property Investors Federation: "The bill appears on the top page of this week's provisional order paper for Parliament. Seeing that it is item number two, no amount of bureaucratic or ceremonial process will push it out to next week."
Kris Faafoi, associate Housing Minister, today also vowed the change would become law shortly.
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"It is still the Government's intention to see the RTA reforms passed in the term of this Parliament," said a Faafoi spokesman when asked if the overhaul would be passed in this Parliamentary term before the September 19 election.
The federation said the House would be in session from 2pm tomorrow and it encouraged its members to try one last-ditch effort to axe the bill, telling them to lobby Greens and NZ First and even Labour MPs.
The law will swing firmly into the tenants' favour, ending no-cause evictions, meaning landlords' reasons for getting rid of tenants must be far more robust than now.
At present, landlords can give a tenant 90 days' notice without having to provide a reason and 42 days' notice in some circumstances, such as when they are selling or need to live in the place, or need it for their family.
Tenants have to give only 21 days' notice.
The Government wants to remove the right of landlords to end a tenancy for no cause and to increase notice periods for some specified reasons.
Faafoi announced the biggest changes to the Residential Tenancies Act since it was passed in 1986.
He says the Act was passed more than 30 years ago when renting places was often a temporary measure.
The federation has estimated up to 100,000 rentals could be sold as a result of the law change.
Faafoi said around 25 per cent of New Zealanders rented in 1986 but now that was around 33 per cent. People were also renting later in life and more children were living in rental properties: in 1986, children in rentals were 26 per cent, but in 2013, it was 43 per cent.
Earlier this month, the social services and community select committee issued its final report.
Federation executive officer Sharon Cullwick said the bill was in much the same form as originally proposed last year and it could be law before September's election.
Bindi Norwell, Real Estate Institute chief executive, also expressed disappointment.
The select committee said the bill would:
• Increase the security of tenure for tenants who are meeting their obligations by removing a landlord's right to use no cause terminations to end a periodic tenancy agreement.
• Require that fixed-term tenancy agreements must become periodic tenancy agreements upon expiry unless both parties agree otherwise, or certain conditions apply.
• Clarify the rules about minor changes tenants can make to premises.
• Prohibit landlords soliciting or asking for rental bids.
• Limit rent increases to once every 12 months.
• Suppress people's names where they win a Tenancy Tribunal case.
• Clarify the tribunal's power to suppress identities if that is in the interests of the parties and the public interest.
• Require landlords to permit and facilitate installing ultra-fast broadband, subject to specific triggers and exemptions.
• Increase financial penalties against landlords.
• Give the regulator new tools to take direct action against parties who are not meeting their obligations.
National opposes the changes, saying it would alter the balance of rights between landlords and tenants and reduce the rights of landlords in ways that would also be of ultimate detriment to their tenants, the report noted.
National said the bill would not improve relations between landlords and tenants, nor assist the increasing need for rental options.