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Property rights eroded for property owners

5 May 2005

Property rights eroded for property owners

Dr Muriel Newman Thursday, Press Releases - Economy

Landlords property rights will be further eroded if Labour win a third term, ACT Deputy leader Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"The Labour Party has already identified their agenda with regard to residential rental property. It will include the registration of tenancies, the introduction of a ˜warrant of fitness check for rental properties and the regulation of landlords, Dr Newman said.

"Commonsense tells us that it is in everyone's interests to encourage improvements in standards using industry self-regulation. Yet Tenancy Tribunal statistics show that almost 90 percent of claims are against tenants.

"While there are inevitably some bad landlords, it appears that the major problem faced by the industry is a predominance of bad tenants. If registration were to be considered at all, surely it should be tenants that should be targeted rather than landlords?

"Labour also appears committed to regulating for longer tenancies, introducing rent controls, increasing the legal rights enjoyed by tenants and providing government funded advocates," Dr Newman said.

Labour also intends to strengthen the capital gains test on property investors who sell their rental properties, adding weight to the speculation that they are planning to adopt the recommendation of the United Party to introduce a capital gains tax. They also still planning to change the depreciation rates on residential property in order to increase the tax-take from property investors by an estimated $30-40 million a year.

"With an election just around the corner, I would urge residential property owners to take a real interest in what the government is proposing. It has the potential to make residential property an undesirable investment for retirement purposes," Dr Newman said.

ENDS

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