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Landlords voice concerns over RTA proposals

The Auckland Property Investors’ Association (APIA) is taking a ‘wait-and-see’ approach on the proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) – but there are early signs of reasons for landlords to be concerned, according to association vice-president John May.

Wednesday, September 27th 2006, 10:14AM

by The Landlord

The information released by Building Issues Minister Clayton Cosgrove last Friday about changes to the RTA recommended by the Department of Building and Housing has “very little in it”, said May. “But what sparse information has been provided already gives us cause for concern and raises more questions than it answers.”

“The proposal talks about making some tenancy breaches ‘unlawful acts’ that could result in exemplary damages being awarded, as an alternative to eviction. Does this mean that landlords will lose the right to evict tenants who damage their property or breach the terms of their tenancy?”


“The proposal indicates that landlords who breach building, health and safety regulations may face financial penalties payable to the tenant. How does this impact on existing owners of leaky homes? Will they be exposed to claims by their tenants under this proposal?”

May was also concerned that the review paid too little attention to the RTA and too much attention to the structure and processes of the Department of Building and Housing. “The major outcome of the proposed changes would appear to be the creation of an even larger bureaucracy”.

This could have been avoided – and the Department’s workload reduced by up to 80%, May said, by four moves.

The first of these is allowing rent to be “paid from source”. May said if WINZ paid rent straight into landlords’ bank accounts, tenants could avoid the temptation to use their rent money for other purposes.

The second amendment May advocated is giving the Tenancy Tribunal the power to undertake the debt recovery process. Currently this can only be done through a separate application to the District Court.

Thirdly, May recommended allowing private debt collectors to do the work currently done by court bailiffs, like tracking down debtors who have vanished and serving summons to them.

Finally he would like to see much stronger measures taken against tenants who damage property, or assault landlords or neighbours. “At the moment these matters are treated as civil cases where police are disinterested and there is little or no recourse for landlords,” May said.

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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA 4.55 2.29 2.59 2.65
ANZ 4.44 2.89 3.25 3.39
ANZ Special - 2.29 2.69 2.79
ASB Bank 4.45 2.29 2.59 2.65
Bluestone 3.49 3.34 2.99 3.34
BNZ - Classic - 2.29 2.59 2.79
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.15 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 4.60 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 4.55 2.89 3.19 3.39
BNZ - TotalMoney 4.55 - - -
CFML Loans 4.95 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
China Construction Bank 4.49 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 2.65 2.65 2.80
Credit Union Auckland 5.45 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
Credit Union South 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 2.95 3.45 -
Heartland Bank - Online 2.50 1.99 2.35 2.45
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 3.50 3.40 -
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.25 2.35 2.65
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - 1.99 - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
ICBC 3.69 2.25 2.35 2.65
Kainga Ora 4.43 ▼2.67 ▼2.97 3.13
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - 2.25 - -
Kiwibank 3.40 3.20 3.50 3.50
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40 - - -
Kiwibank Special 3.40 2.35 2.65 2.65
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Nelson Building Society 4.95 3.20 3.24 -
Pepper Essential 4.79 - - -
Resimac 3.39 3.35 2.99 3.35
SBS Bank 4.54 2.79 2.79 3.15
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
SBS Bank Special - 2.29 2.29 2.65
Select Home Loans 3.49 3.34 2.99 3.34
The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 2.09 - -
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40 2.29 2.59 2.79
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40 2.79 3.09 3.29
TSB Bank 5.34 3.09 3.29 3.45
TSB Special 4.54 2.29 2.49 2.65
Wairarapa Building Society 4.99 3.55 3.49 -
Westpac 4.59 3.09 3.29 3.39
Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
Westpac Special - 2.29 2.69 2.79
Median 4.55 2.73 2.99 2.80

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