New rules have been set seeking to clear up liability for damages to rental properties as changes to the Residential Tenancies Act passed in Parliament today.
The law states what a tenant is liable for when it comes to damage. It does not make tenants liable for fair wear and tear to rental properties. However, it sets out that a tenant is liable when the damage was intentionally caused by them or was the result of an act or omission by the tenant.
Associate Minister of Housing Kris Faafoi said the changes would "provide greater certainty to landlords, minimise cost and risk, and ensure tenants have the right information when deciding if they will rent a property".
Mr Faafoi said the changes strengthen the law for prosecuting landlords that rent out unsuitable properties.
"We are improving our tenancy laws so that tenants and landlords are protected and can have clear expectations before going into a tenancy... we are committed to making sure that tenants are living in safe homes while also making sure properties are not being vacated when the risk is low," Mr Faafoi said.