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Proposed Changes Will Benefit Tenants And Landlords

“All credit to National for signalling that they will tackle the current tenancy rules which have acted as a disincentive to grow the rental supply”, said Sue Harrison, President of the NZ Property Investors Federation (NZPIF) “At a time when the NZ population is growing due to opening of the borders for more immigration and more tourism, more rental properties are needed rather than less.”

National says it is also committed to restoring interest deductibility as a legitimate business expense for rental properties. This will end what has actually become a tenant tax as landlords are forced to increase rents to cover this and other increased costs such as those for insurance, rates and maintenance to name a few. A recent NZPIF survey of members shows landlords do not like to put rents up, and many of our members are charging below market rents, but rent rises have become a necessity to stay afloat.

“Landlords will be relieved to have the reinstatement of the no stated cause termination”, said Harrison.

Depriving landlords of this right has back fired on Labour. As a result of learning about many examples of difficult tenants trashing and contaminating rental houses or causing neighbourhood disturbances, landlords now have very careful tenant selection processes. They are reluctant to take on a vulnerable tenant who, perhaps through no fault of their own, may have a less than perfect rental record. Landlords do not now “take a chance” due to difficulty in terminating the tenancy if it doesn’t work out. No landlord terminates a tenancy without reason. It is in their interest to have their property continuously tenanted.

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Allowing fixed terms tenancies means better security for students as well as short term workers and allows for homes to be provided for shorter periods when available. It has been reported recently that landlords who once would have offered short term tenancies for some months of the year in various cities have turned to short term accommodation platforms instead. This leaves workers in Queenstown for instance living in cars.

A large proportion of rentals in New Zealand are offered by private landlords. The State cannot house all who need accommodation and National is to be congratulated for seeing private landlords as part of the solution to the difficult housing situation in New Zealand and not the problem.

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