Pet Bond Announced for Tenants

April 2024

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Landlords will soon be able to charge an additional pet bond under amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act to be introduced to Parliament in May. 

The change comes alongside the ability for tenants to be held liable for all pet damage beyond "fair wear and tear" and the requirement for tenants to only have a pet with the consent of the landlord. The coalition Government says the changes will benefit tenants, who will now have greater choice when looking for a rental property. Landlords will only be able to refuse consent on "reasonable grounds". 

More Pet-Friendly Homes 

The policy comes as part of the National/ACT coalition agreement. Regulation Minister David Seymour says that the policy will fix the problem of tenants being locked out of rental markets due to landlords not being willing to take a risk on tenants with pets. 

Housing Minister Chris Bishop says: “Anyone who has ever tried to find a pet-friendly rental property will know how hard it is, so we’re going to make it easier.” 

“Supporting people to find a pet-friendly rental home is part of the Government’s plan to create a well-functioning rental property market, which itself is part of the wider plan to solve New Zealand’s housing crisis.” 

What are the Changes to Tenancy Legislation? 

The changes to legislation include: 

  • Introducing a pet bond (set at a maximum of two weeks’ rent) that can be charged in addition to the existing bond,  
  • Making tenants liable for all pet damage to properties beyond fair wear and tear. This means a tenant is fully liable for any accidental or careless damage caused by pets, as well as any intentional damage,  
  • Requiring that tenants may only have a pet or pets with the consent of the landlord, who can withhold consent on reasonable grounds.  

The Government will introduce an Amendment Bill in May to make these changes, alongside other changes to the Residential Tenancies Act recently announced. 

What Other Changes to the RTA are to be Introduced? 

Other changes to the RTA to be introduced to Parliament in May include: 

  • Reintroducing 90-day ‘no cause’ terminations for periodic tenancies, meaning landlords can end a periodic tenancy without requiring a specific reason.  
  • Returning landlords’ notice periods for ending a periodic tenancy to 42 days where: 
    • they want to move themselves or a family member into the property, or 
    • the tenancy agreement notes the property is usually used to house employees, and they want to move an employee into the property, or 
    • the property is subject to an unconditional agreement for sale requiring vacant possession.  
  • Returning tenants’ notice period for ending a periodic tenancy to 21 days. 
  • Reintroducing landlords’ ability to give notice to end a fixed-term tenancy at the end of the term without requiring a specific reason. 

Need Further Advice? 

Keeping up to date with the law and how it affects you can be difficult. If you would like further advice, contact our Property Management team on or call for a chat on 09 623 5952.  

For information on frequently asked questions on the Residential Tenancies Act, read our FAQs for the RTA. 

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