Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill

  • enacted
37 New sections 55A and 55B inserted

After section 55, insert:

55A Termination for anti-social behaviour

(1)

A landlord under a periodic tenancy may apply to the Tribunal for an order terminating the tenancy on the ground of anti-social behaviour.

(2)

The Tribunal must (subject to subsection (3)) make the order if satisfied that—

(a)

on 3 separate occasions within a 90-day period the tenant, or a person in the premises with the tenant’s permission (other than the landlord or a person acting on the landlord’s behalf or with the landlord’s authority), engaged in anti-social behaviour in connection with the tenancy; and

(b)

on each occasion the landlord gave the tenant written notice—

(i)

describing clearly which specific behaviour was considered to be anti-social and (if known to the landlord) who engaged in it; and

(ii)

advising the tenant of the date, approximate time, and location of the behaviour; and

(iii)

stating how many other notices (if any) the landlord has given the tenant under this paragraph in connection with the same tenancy and the same 90-day period; and

(iv)

advising the tenant of the tenant’s right to make an application to the Tribunal challenging the notice (see sections 77(1) and 78(1)(a) regarding the Tribunal); and

(c)

the landlord’s application to the Tribunal was made within 28 days after the landlord gave the third notice.

(3)

However, the Tribunal must not make the order if satisfied that—

(a)

doing so would be unfair because of the circumstances in which the behaviour occurred or the notices were given; or

(b)

in making the application, the landlord was motivated wholly or partly by the exercise or proposed exercise by the tenant of any right, power, authority, or remedy conferred on the tenant by the tenancy agreement or by this or any other Act or any complaint by the tenant against the landlord relating to the tenancy (unless the Tribunal is satisfied that the purported exercise or the complaint was or would be vexatious or frivolous to such an extent that the landlord was justified in making the application).

(4)

In deciding whether to make an order under subsection (2), the Tribunal must not take into account the impact that terminating the tenancy would have on the tenant.

(5)

In subsection (2)(a), if a tenant is in the premises at the same time as another person (other than the landlord or a person acting on the landlord’s behalf or with the landlord’s authority), the tenant is presumed to have permitted the person to be in the premises unless the tenant proves that they took all reasonable steps to prevent the person from entering the premises or to eject the person from the premises.

(5A)

If a tenant makes an application to the Tribunal challenging a notice given under subsection (2)(b), it is for the landlord to prove that anti-social behaviour was engaged in as described in subsection (2)(a) and that the notice met the requirements of subsection (2)(b).

(6)

In this section, anti-social behaviour means—

(a)

harassment; or

(b)

any other act or omission (whether intentional or not), if the act or omission reasonably causes alarm, distress, or nuisance that is more than minor.

55B Termination where it would be unreasonable to require landlord to continue with tenancy

(1)

A landlord under a periodic tenancy may apply to the Tribunal for an order terminating the tenancy on the ground of hardship.

(2)

The Tribunal may make the order only if satisfied that—

(a)

without the order the landlord would suffer greater hardship than the tenant; and

(b)

because of that hardship, it would be unreasonable to require the landlord to continue with the tenancy.

(3)

In deciding whether it would be unreasonable to require the landlord to continue with the tenancy, the Tribunal must take into account the impact that terminating the tenancy would have on the tenant.

(4)

Any order under this section must specify a date for the termination.