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No evidence of 150% rental price increases in Christchurch

To: The Editor, Scoop

Dear Editor

Media Statement for immediate release

11 March 2011

No evidence of 150% rental price increases in Christchurch

Calls for rental controls due to 150% increases in Christchurch rental prices have been dismissed by the New Zealand Property Investors Federation.

“We don’t know where these claims of 150% rent increases have come from” says Federation President and Christchurch Property Manager Martin Evans.

“It is malicious to make these claims in order to influence Government in an attempt to have rent controls imposed” says Evans.

“The Federation and the Canterbury Property Investors’ Association have not heard of anyone taking advantage of the earthquake and increasing rents by such amounts.”

This view is backed up by Trademe Property Manager Brendan Skipper, who says that they haven’t seen any evidence of such rental price increases in the Canterbury area.

A survey of rental property listings in Christchurch did show a significant drop of 22% on the Friday following the quake and a further drop of 12% the following week. However listings have since increased by 18% and as of today there are 1045 rental properties advertised on Trademe.

Rental property providers are facing large losses because of the quake, due to nervous tenants abandoning their rental properties even though they are sound.

“Tenants are just leaving without telling us” says Evans. “We only find out that they have gone when the rent doesn’t come in.”

Compounding the problem for both landlords and tenants is that the Department of Building and Housing office and the Tenancy Tribunal in Christchurch are still not operational. “We can’t get eviction orders when properties are abandoned at a critical time when others are desperate for a rental property because their own home is uninhabitable. Given the extreme situation, we are forced to take matters into our own hands just to help people get housed and to stop our owners from losing any more money” says Evans.


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