Greens rental Bill could put off landlords - NZPIF

Landlords could be discouraged from providing rental properties by the Green Party’s Residential Tenancies (Safe and Secure Rentals) Amendment Bill, investor advocates say.

Friday, August 12th 2016, 11:00AM

by Miriam Bell

NZPIF executive officer Andrew King

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei’s Residential Tenancies (Safe and Secure Rentals) Amendment Bill was drawn from the Parliamentary ballot, for its first reading, yesterday.

The Bill would set minimum standards for warmth, dryness and safety in all rental properties, but – more significantly - it contains a host of changes to tenancy standards and regulations.

However, the NZ Property Investors Federation believes aspects of the Bill are likely to discourage the provision of rental property at a time when many tenants are struggling to find accommodation.

NZPIF executive officer Andrew King said while the majority of rental property owners would also like longer term tenancies, policies cannot provide tenants with higher rights than owners.

If a tenant on a fixed term tenancy was given the right to remain in a property for as long as they wanted, it is likely that landlords will simply stop offering fixed term tenancies, he said.

“Most tenants actually prefer periodic tenancies so they just have to give three weeks' notice if they want to move.

“There are probably changes that could be made to provide tenants who want longer tenancies to achieve these without taking away the rights of the owner.”

King, who has previously said the Bill would be too restrictive for landlords, added that there were some good aspects to the Bill.

For example, it would assist a clear understanding between a tenant and a landlord on how rental price increases are calculated.

“Restricting rent increases from six months to twelve months may lead to higher rental increases and budgeting difficulties for tenants,” he said.

“But it does create better certainty around when increases will occur.”

The Residential Tenancies (Safe and Secure Rentals) Amendment Bill has to pass its first reading in Parliament to progress further.

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