Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill

  • enacted
23 New sections 42A and 42B inserted

After section 42, insert:

42A Consent for tenant’s fixtures, etc

(1)

The landlord must not unreasonably withhold consent for a fixture, renovation, alteration, or addition.

(2)

The landlord may impose reasonable conditions on the landlord’s consent.

(3)

If the tenant makes a written request for consent, the landlord must respond in writing within 21 days after receiving the request.

(4)

In the response, the landlord must indicate whether or not the landlord considers the fixture, renovation, alteration, or addition to be a minor change (see section 42B(2)).

(5)

If the landlord considers the fixture, renovation, alteration, or addition to be more than a minor change and the landlord needs more time to consider the request, the landlord may, in the written response under subsection (3), extend the time for responding to the tenant’s request.

(6)

A landlord who extends the time for responding under subsection (5) must respond to the request in writing within a reasonable amount of time.

(7)

A landlord commits an unlawful act if the landlord fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with subsection (3), (4), or (6).

42B Minor changes

(1)

Without limiting section 42A(1), it is unreasonable for a landlord to withhold consent to a minor change to premises.

(2)

In this section and section 42A, a minor change is any fixture, renovation, alteration, or addition of or to the premises that—

(a)

presents no more than a low risk of material damage to the premises; and

(b)

would allow the premises to be returned easily to substantially the same condition; and

(c)

does not pose a risk to health and safety (including during work to install, remove, or undo the minor change) that cannot reasonably practicably be eliminated or minimised; and

(d)

does not compromise the structural integrity, weathertightness, or character of any building; and

(e)

would not have an unreasonable negative effect on any person’s enjoyment or use of any property outside the premises; and

(f)

does not require any regulatory consent (for example, a building consent); and

(g)

does not breach any obligation or restriction relevant to the premises (for example, an obligation or a restriction imposed by a bylaw, a planning or body corporate rule, or a covenant).

(3)

A landlord commits an unlawful act if the landlord withholds consent for a minor change.

(4)

If a minor change is made in accordance with a request under section 42A, the tenant must, on or before the expiry of the tenancy, return the premises to a condition that is substantially the same as the condition that the premises were in before the minor change was made.

(5)

Subsection (4) does not apply if the landlord and the tenant agree a different arrangement in relation to the minor change for the end of the tenancy (for example, that the minor change will remain in place).

(6)

A tenant who fails to comply with subsection (4) commits an unlawful act.