Government to look at renting overhaul

by RNZ / 27 August, 2018
RelatedArticlesModule - Rent

"We've got to make life better for renters," says Housing Minister Phil Twyford. Photo / RNZ

The government wants to change the culture of renting in New Zealand within the parliamentary term.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford and Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson released a discussion document on the issue today.

They will look at scrapping no-cause tenancy terminations, increasing the notice landlords have to give tenants if they are to end one, and limiting rent increases to once a year.

They are also looking at measures to end rent-bidding wars - a recent factor in New Zealand's bigger cities.

Mr Twyford said this is a "generational reset of the way we rent in New Zealand".

"We want to make life better for renters, because at the moment it's a miserable and pretty punishing existence for many renters. It's got to be better than this," he said.

The government's looking to policies introduced in Scotland and Ireland for inspiration, but Mr Twyford said this will have to work for New Zealanders.

"We can look around the world at a number of other jurisdictions who take different approaches, but its not about picking a new system off the shelf, we've got to design something that works here and now for us in New Zealand."

Ms Davidson used her own experiences with a bad landlord to highlight the issues in the market.

"Right when I became an MP. I had a kitchen rotting out the back, drafts through the windows, uninsulated, garage door falling off. And I was evicted because of the investment market," she said. "It was an on-sale to investors."

Ms Davidson said she went from the back of a line of prospective renters to the front, as soon as she landed that MP salary.

"Previously I'd looked at 50, applied for 30. Had to beg for a property that no-one else wanted. Big change. And the privilege - you shouldn't have to become an MP to be able to get a rental property."

But both said not all landlords were bad and they were hoping to strike the right balance for renters and landlords.

National's housing spokesperson Judith Collins said this proposed reform of the Residential Tenancies Act was an uninformed and knee-jerk decision.

She said it would not solve any problems and will cause renters to pay even more.

"If Mr Twyford thinks government price controls will stop tenants paying more for rent, he's being naive.

"By limiting rent increases to once a year, landlords will be forced to raise rents higher and sooner, meaning tenants will actually be paying the same or more in the long run," she said.

"As usual Mr Twyford's announcement has been made in a vacuum away from reality - he needs to start thinking about the impacts of his vague housing policies and stop loading the costs onto New Zealand families."

This article was originally published by RNZ.

Latest

Are FitBits a boon for your health – or a threat to your privacy?
107343 2019-06-20 00:00:00Z Health

Are FitBits a boon for your health – or a threat t…

by Donna Chisholm

One in five New Zealanders owns a fitness tracker, but what effect do they have? Donna Chisholm investigates.

Read more
Larry Smarr: The world's most self-measured man
107358 2019-06-20 00:00:00Z Health

Larry Smarr: The world's most self-measured man

by Donna Chisholm

A US computer scientist who has been monitoring the state of his health for nearly two decades says he’s healthier now than he’s been in 15 years.

Read more
The most common scams – and how to avoid them
107425 2019-06-20 00:00:00Z Tech

The most common scams – and how to avoid them

by Joanna Wane

"Dear Beloved Friend"....

Read more
The National get in touch with their feminine side in I Am Easy to Find
107163 2019-06-19 00:00:00Z Music

The National get in touch with their feminine side…

by James Belfield

As The National announce two intimate theatre shows in Auckland, James Belfield reviews their brave and collaborative new album.

Read more
German violinist Carolin Widmann brings her daring style to NZ
107272 2019-06-19 00:00:00Z Music

German violinist Carolin Widmann brings her daring…

by Elizabeth Kerr

The award-winning musician will make her NZSO debut playing Stravinsky’s only violin concerto.

Read more
In defence of NZ Rugby boss Steve Tew
107277 2019-06-19 00:00:00Z Sport

In defence of NZ Rugby boss Steve Tew

by Paul Thomas

Naysayers may rail against rugby’s continued “corporatisation” under Steve Tew, but he’s given them plenty to applaud as well.

Read more
How New Zealand's community newspapers are bucking the trend
107362 2019-06-19 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

How New Zealand's community newspapers are bucking…

by Venetia Sherson

Community newspapers are bucking the trend, as enterprising new owners breath life back into them.

Read more
What filmmaker Andrea Bosshard learned from her goldsmith father Kobi
107381 2019-06-19 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

What filmmaker Andrea Bosshard learned from her go…

by Ken Downie

Filmmaker Andrea Bosshard inherited a creative streak from her goldsmith father Kobi but he also taught her an important life lesson.

Read more