Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill

  • enacted
24 New sections 43A to 43C inserted

After section 43, insert:

43A Effect of provision prohibiting assignment by tenant

(1)

A provision in a tenancy agreement that prohibits the tenant from assigning the tenancy is of no effect.

(2)

However, if the tenancy agreement relates to a tenancy described in section 53B(1)(a) (which relates to social housing tenancies) and contains a provision that expressly and unconditionally prohibits the tenant from assigning the tenancy, the provision has effect.

43B Assignment of tenancy by tenant

(1)

A tenant may, at any time during the tenancy, assign the tenancy—

(a)

with the prior written consent of the landlord; and

(b)

in accordance with any reasonable conditions attached to that consent by the landlord.

(2)

Subsection (1) does not apply in the circumstances described in section 43A(2).

(3)

A tenant commits an unlawful act if the tenant assigns the tenancy—

(a)

without the prior written consent of the landlord; or

(b)

if the tenancy is a tenancy described in section 53B(1)(a), in contravention of a provision described in section 43A(2).

(3A)

If a tenant makes a written request for the landlord’s consent to an assignment and the request identifies, and includes contact details for, the proposed assignee, the landlord must respond in writing to the request within a reasonable period of time.

(3B)

A landlord who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with subsection (3A) commits an unlawful act.

(4)

The landlord must not—

(a)

withhold consent unreasonably; or

(b)

attach any unreasonable conditions to the consent.

(5)

A landlord’s consent must not be taken to have been withheld unreasonably if, instead of consenting to an assignment, the landlord offers to accept a surrender of the tenancy on reasonable terms.

(6)

A landlord’s consent must be taken to have been withheld unreasonably if the withholding of the consent is an unlawful act under section 12 (discrimination to be unlawful act).

43C Effect of assignment by tenant

(1)

A tenant who assigns the tenancy with the consent of the landlord and in accordance with any conditions attached to the consent ceases, on the date on which the assignment takes effect, to be responsible to the landlord for the obligations imposed on the tenant by the agreement and this Act.

(2)

Subsection (1) does not affect any liability already incurred by the tenant to the landlord for anything done or omitted to be done before the date on which the assignment takes effect.