Government to look at renting overhaul

by RNZ / 27 August, 2018
RelatedArticlesModule - Rent

"We've got to make life better for renters," says Housing Minister Phil Twyford. Photo / RNZ

The government wants to change the culture of renting in New Zealand within the parliamentary term.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford and Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson released a discussion document on the issue today.

They will look at scrapping no-cause tenancy terminations, increasing the notice landlords have to give tenants if they are to end one, and limiting rent increases to once a year.

They are also looking at measures to end rent-bidding wars - a recent factor in New Zealand's bigger cities.

Mr Twyford said this is a "generational reset of the way we rent in New Zealand".

"We want to make life better for renters, because at the moment it's a miserable and pretty punishing existence for many renters. It's got to be better than this," he said.

The government's looking to policies introduced in Scotland and Ireland for inspiration, but Mr Twyford said this will have to work for New Zealanders.

"We can look around the world at a number of other jurisdictions who take different approaches, but its not about picking a new system off the shelf, we've got to design something that works here and now for us in New Zealand."

Ms Davidson used her own experiences with a bad landlord to highlight the issues in the market.

"Right when I became an MP. I had a kitchen rotting out the back, drafts through the windows, uninsulated, garage door falling off. And I was evicted because of the investment market," she said. "It was an on-sale to investors."

Ms Davidson said she went from the back of a line of prospective renters to the front, as soon as she landed that MP salary.

"Previously I'd looked at 50, applied for 30. Had to beg for a property that no-one else wanted. Big change. And the privilege - you shouldn't have to become an MP to be able to get a rental property."

But both said not all landlords were bad and they were hoping to strike the right balance for renters and landlords.

National's housing spokesperson Judith Collins said this proposed reform of the Residential Tenancies Act was an uninformed and knee-jerk decision.

She said it would not solve any problems and will cause renters to pay even more.

"If Mr Twyford thinks government price controls will stop tenants paying more for rent, he's being naive.

"By limiting rent increases to once a year, landlords will be forced to raise rents higher and sooner, meaning tenants will actually be paying the same or more in the long run," she said.

"As usual Mr Twyford's announcement has been made in a vacuum away from reality - he needs to start thinking about the impacts of his vague housing policies and stop loading the costs onto New Zealand families."

This article was originally published by RNZ.

Latest

Excavated cult-horror film Suspiria is an ambitious failure
98994 2018-11-14 00:00:00Z Movies

Excavated cult-horror film Suspiria is an ambitiou…

by James Robins

Released in 1977, Dario Argento’s campy Suspiria was a landmark in cult horror. Now, director Luca Guadagnino has remade it in a new style.

Read more
Scottish-Bengali crime writer Abir Mukherjee on his 'cultural schizophrenia'
98517 2018-11-14 00:00:00Z Books

Scottish-Bengali crime writer Abir Mukherjee on hi…

by Craig Sisterson

Abir Mukherjee uses India’s painful struggle for independence as the backdrop for his Sam Wyndham detective stories.

Read more
Lunchtime legends: 5 hospo stalwarts on Auckland's restaurant evolution
93848 2018-11-14 00:00:00Z Auckland Eats

Lunchtime legends: 5 hospo stalwarts on Auckland's…

by Alice Neville

Restaurant veterans Chris Rupe, Krishna Botica, Tony Adcock, Geeling Ching and Judith Tabron reflect on the Auckland dining scene.

Read more
Best Auckland BYO restaurants where the food is good too
97751 2018-11-14 00:00:00Z Auckland Eats

Best Auckland BYO restaurants where the food is go…

by Metro

Head to one of these Metro Top 50 Cheap Eats and 50 under $50 restaurants for BYO dining that won't break the bank.

Read more
Get a lesson in mezcal at new Snickel Lane bar La Fuente
99033 2018-11-14 00:00:00Z Auckland Eats

Get a lesson in mezcal at new Snickel Lane bar La …

by Jean Teng

Mezcal was once regarded as a tipple for the lower-class – now it's the hero at new bar La Fuente.

Read more
Forget the love trysts, our relationship with China is a much bigger affair
98673 2018-11-13 00:00:00Z Politics

Forget the love trysts, our relationship with Chin…

by Bevan Rapson

Ross’s tape didn’t stand up his allegations of electoral fraud, but it helpfully drew renewed attention to questions about Chinese influence in NZ.

Read more
Bill Ralston: Simon Bridges looks like a dead man walking
98830 2018-11-13 00:00:00Z Politics

Bill Ralston: Simon Bridges looks like a dead man …

by Bill Ralston

The National Party’s ongoing ructions suggest a long spell in the wilderness lies ahead.

Read more
The history of NZ newspapers would shame the Facebook generation
98735 2018-11-13 00:00:00Z History

The history of NZ newspapers would shame the Faceb…

by Karl du Fresne

In the 19th century, there were more newspapers in New Zealand per head of population than anywhere else in the world says writer Ian F Grant.

Read more