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Amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act were passed into law last month.
From February 11, landlords will not be able to end periodic tenancies without cause, and fixed tenancies will change to periodic at the end of the period unless agreed otherwise.
Reasons a landlord will be able to end a periodic tenancy will be made clear closer to February and are likely to include provisions around "antisocial behaviour".
"I’ve told my landlords ... from when the changes come into effect you can no longer give tenants notice," Otago Property Investors Association president Kathryn Seque said yesterday.
"If you are wanting to give any of your tenants notice for any particular reason you need to do it now."
She was "educating" association landlords about the changes.
"There’s a vast array of reasons why a landlord would give a tenant notice.
Some landlords were choosing to leave the market and sell, Ms Seque said.
"I do have one member ... that’s had a rental property for 32 years and he sold it last week because of the RTA reform."
A lot of people now looking for a rental had been given notice because a landlord had chosen to sell, she said.
"It seems to be happening a lot more, especially in Dunedin from what I’ve noticed."
Landlords were finding it easy to sell for record high prices.
The healthy homes law — which from July next year will require rentals to meet a specific standard of heating, insulation and ventilation — was another incentive to quit the rental market for landlords, Ms Seque said.
"When landlords have these properties that are sub-par and they have to deal with these healthy homes laws, then they’re just thinking ‘well the RTA’s changed, the healthy homes laws kick in ... I now have to fill out all these statements come the first of December this year. I’m throwing in the towel’."
Salvation Army community ministries manager David McKenzie had noted a recent increase in people becoming homeless after losing their long-term tenancies.
"When it comes to the reasons that their tenancy has been finished ... that is more hidden. They’re not clearly told the reason."
Mr McKenzie had heard anecdotally that landlords were moving tenants on before the tenancy law changes took effect.
The Salvation Army is working with about 36 families looking for a permanent rental.
Mr McKenzie said in the past couple of days he knew of two cases where people who had been in rentals for nine and 10 years were told to move on.
"These are people who have been good tenants over a long period of time."
They were often people who were not first priority on social housing waiting lists and had to try to get a permanent rental in a Dunedin market he described as very difficult.
"This has got worse in the last few months.
"The two cases I’m thinking of particularly this week, they have ended up in emergency housing and will probably both be in transitional housing with us in the next wee while."
The New Zealand Property Investors Federation — to which the Otago Property Investors Association is affiliated — has told its members to wait to see if National wins next month’s election before spending money refitting their rentals up to new heating standards.
The comments have been labelled "deeply disappointing" by the Labour Party and questioned by the Real Estate Institute and the New Zealand Green Building Council.
National Party leader Judith Collins has said her party would, if elected, tear up new Healthy Homes standards recently brought in by the Labour-led Government.
— Additional reporting The New Zealand Herald