This note is not part of the regulations, but is intended to indicate their general effect.
These regulations, which come into force on 14 April 2014, are made for the purposes of—
By way of background, a function of the social housing agency (the Ministry of Social Development) is to calculate the income-related rent of a tenant of housing provided by a social housing provider (Housing New Zealand or a registered community housing provider) and give notification of the income-related rent to the provider.
Sections 74 and 94 of the Act apply where a social housing provider receives a notification from the agency of an increased income-related rent calculated for a tenant due to a change in the circumstances of the tenant or an applicable person in relation to the tenant. Unless the provider considers that the increased rent would not make a material difference to the rent already charged, the provider must give written notice to the tenant stating the date that the increased rent takes effect (which cannot be earlier than the date that is 61 days after the date (stated in the agency's notification) on which the change in circumstances occurred). The provider must give the tenant notice of increased rent at least 2 weeks before the date on which the increased rent takes effect. Sections 74 and 94 of the Act also allow the agency to recover certain amounts owed by the tenant as debt due to the Crown.
Regulation 5 provides that sections 74 and 94 of the Act do not apply during the transitional period (14 April 2014 to the close of 14 April 2017) if—
a social housing provider receives notification from the agency of an increased income-related rent calculated for a tenant due to a change in the circumstances of the tenant or an applicable person in relation to the tenant; and
the change in circumstances (as stated in the notification) occurred before 14 April 2014.
The effect of regulation 5 is to ensure that a tenant who, before 14 April 2014, had a change in circumstances that affected the tenant's income-related rent has, in respect of any rent increase arising from that change in circumstances, rights and obligations that are similar to those that the tenant had before sections 74 and 94 of the Act came into force.
The provider will still be required to give notice of increased rent in accordance with sections 72 and 73 of the Act. However, that notice must comply with section 24 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 without exception (which, among other things, prohibits any rent increase within 180 days after the date of the last increase). The agency's ability to recover debt under section 127 of the Act is not affected by these regulations.
Regulation 6 provides that, for the transitional period, the definition of assessable assets in clause 11(1) of Schedule 2 of the Act applies. The effect of regulation 6 is to preserve, for the duration of the transitional period, the definition of assessable assets that was used for the purpose of calculating a tenant's income-related rent before 14 April 2014. Section 111(2) of the Act states that assessable assets has the meaning prescribed by regulations made under section 114 of the Act. Because those regulations have not been made, it is necessary to use the definition of assessable assets in Schedule 2 of the Act, which is the definition that applied before the commencement of the amendment Act. Once regulations made under section 114 of the Act come into force, Schedule 2 of the Act is repealed.
These regulations are revoked on the close of 14 April 2017.
Date of notification in Gazette: 10 April 2014.
These regulations are administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.