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Problem tenants to be targeted

Problem tenants to be targeted

The government is working on a package of proposals to protect landlords from problem tenants, Housing Minister Steve Maharey said today.

His comments follow news today that a Christchurch family has damaged a second property in less than a month. The case was highlighted by United Future MP Marc Alexander.

Steve Maharey said it was clear that landlords need greater protection from the small group of tenants who destroy private property and skip out of properties leaving a trail of damage behind them.

“Landlords do not deserve to have their trust and property ruined. While this is not a widespread problem I am sufficently concerned about it to have already asked my officials to look at what greater protections we can provide for property owners.

“It needs to be remembered that a lot of New Zealand rental property is owned by ‘Mum and Dad’ investors. They need better security and a greater assurance that what is often their retirement savings are not being destroyed by irresponsible tenants.

“My officials are currently looking at how we can improve the enforcement of Tenancy Tribunal orders so it is easier for landlords to recover the costs of fixing damaged property from their former tenants.

“Issuing good advice to landlords about the kinds of checks they could make on prospective tenants would also help to identify problem renters before they move in.

“My officials have also been looking at the kind of bad tenant registers Marc Alexander has promoted. Overseas experience with these is mixed and we may be better to focus on other measures which are more likely to directly assist landlords.

“I expect my officials to report to me with proposals by later this year,” Steve Maharey said.

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