The Housing Minister introduces two pieces of legislation to Parliament – one to ban letting fees, the other to slap Aucklanders with a fuel tax

Housing Minister Phil Twyford is confident Government legislation to ban tenant letting fees won’t result in higher rents.

The bill that would see the practice ended has been introduced to Parliament and Twyford expects to see it come into law before the end of the year.

He has also introduced a bill that would slap Auckland motorists with a 10c a litre fuel tax.

At the moment, tenants in rental properties can face up to four weeks’ bond, two weeks’ rent in advance – and one weeks’ rent as a letting fee – in addition to moving costs as a result of letting fees.

“Letting fees are an unjustifiable tax on renters,” he told media on Thursday afternoon.

“More than half of Kiwis rent these days and it’s a bizarre anomaly that the current law allows letting agencies to provide services to landlords, but charge tenants for them.”

Roughly half of all New Zealanders rent, he says, adding that the bill could put up to $47 million into the pockets of Kiwi families every year.

Twyford says he has no reason to believe rents will go up as a result of the move.

“In 2012, Scotland banned letting fees – there is no evidence that this will lead to any increases in rents.”

He says the Conservative Government in the UK has also introduced legislation to ban the fees.

“Generally, letting agencies only charge these fees when the conditions are such the landlords have all the power and tenents are on the back foot, it’s basically a way of gouging the renters and I think it’s time that it stopped.”

He does not know if National will side with the Government when it comes to passing the bill, but Twyford says both NZ First and the Greens are onboard.

A review of the Residential Tenancies Act is still underway.

Regional fuel tax for Aucklanders imminent

Meanwhile, the Government will on Thursday also introduce legislation to slap Aucklanders with a fuel tax.

The tax will apply to petrol and diesel and can be charged up to a maximum rate of 10 cents per litre, for a maximum of 10 years.

It will be paid by fuel distributors when they deliver fuel to service stations and commercial users inside the region.

Twyford says the tax will allow the Auckland Council to seek funding for specific transport-related projects within the city.

It is expected to generate between $150-$170 million a year.

“Under the Bill, Auckland Council must first consult with residents on the proposed projects it wishes to fund. It must then obtain Government approval before the regional fuel tax can be implemented,” Twyford says.

The legislation is expected to become law within the next few months and Aucklanders will be paying the tax starting July 1.

Although it is a new tax, it was not considered by the Government’s tax working group, chaired by former Finance Minister Michael Cullen.

This is because it was already signalled by the Government during the election as a standalone policy, Twyford says.

“It’s a quick and efficient way to raise some revenue for a desperately needed project and that is building a modern transport system in Auckland.

National’s transport spokesman Jami-Lee Ross says the tax is not necessary and has called for the Auckland council to rein in its spending.

“Auckland Council’s staffing expenditure has gone up by about the same amount that [the Government] want to tax Aucklanders more by.”

He says the council should “look seriously” at its budget, adding the tax is just an “easy out.”

When pressed, he says Auckland Council’s staffing expenditure is an “obvious example” of where cuts can be made to help fund the city’s infrastructure pressures.  

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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141 Comments

A new tax by the new government?

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Just think of it this way - It's effectively a tax reduction for the 60% of tax payers who don't live in Auckland.

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12

Bang on. Why should the rest of us pitch in to buy business class seats for Auckland Councillors?

You know this Auckland fuel levy is going to come back and bite them on their arses .

Firstly , there is no way in hell that it will miraculously reduce the number of cars on the roads in AKL

Secondly , the cost of , and poor quality of , and erratic service of public transport will ensure that it will not be used by anyone I know .

Thirdly , how can they expect someone in Warkworth to pay such a levy

Lastly , It makes no difference to me , its a tax deductable expense in my practice .............. its going to hit the pockets of lower income families the most .

Is this really what they want ?

Agreed, its a deductible expense so they can make the fuel tax as high as they want as far as I'm concerned. I get to enjoy the infrastructure benefits and haven't contributed one cent of fuel tax.

As for the letting fee, no biggie just build it into the rent. Student accommodation allowance fee increases and minimum wage increases are all good news for landlords.

Aucklanders sponsoring immigration to their city. Good on them.

You're delusional if you think incentives don't affect behaviours Boatman.

... correct me if I'm wrong , but doesn't Orc Land account for a whole third of our nation's GDP ?

In which case , why are we faffing around with another dopey tax ... which will only raise a total of $ billion and a half over 10 years ...

... why doesn't the government just use their fiscal power to stump up with the dosh for Orc Land's infrastructure needs .... simple , quick , effective ...

lol, “It’s a quick and efficient way to raise some revenue for a desperately needed project and that is building a modern transport system in Auckland ":. .. we heard that before and when the council gets constipated ( as they always do) they spend the money and ask for more ... same old BS..... they should announce plans for these projects NOW so people would know what they are saving for !!

letting fees won't necessarily affect all rents, unless landlords agree to pay two weeks letting fee to an agent and pass that on ( indirectly) to the tenants ...my guess is that we will see more private letting going forward.

So, this might result in few rental admin and property managers being out of a job, surely some agencies will make few redundant positions as they wont be paying their keep ... and some private letting and management companies will be driven to the wall by this.

Hmmm,

Notice that when they announce the transport projects that they would have happened anyway and some other transport projects in so called rich areas will be paid by "targeted rates" so effectively this fuel tax allows the council to spend this amount of extra money on some pathetic pet project like buying a defective head office or to fund the increasingly expensive and increasingly uneconomic rail tunnel.

I imagine most of the money will go towards starting light rail to the airport. This was scheduled to begin in 30 years time under National.

Quite wring - light rail was NEVER scheduled to start under national - instead an easier quicker cheaper normal rail solution that joined with the existing network was proposed and due to start before the Light rail option will even be worked out - let alone consented, the compulsory purchases completed and then the build.

Nor did that option involve significantly reducing the traffic flow on existing roads. Its a Micky Mouse tram set that makes little commercial or operational sense and will no doubt add to the $250 million subsidy ratepayers currently pay for a virtually unusable public transport system.

The rest of the money will no doubt come from cancelling the much needed and already designed East West link - which had great potential to exceed even the gains from the Waterview tunnel - that almost all Aucklanders recognise as having made a significant improvement.

There are no gains from the waterview tunnel. Traffic delays are back to where they were pre-tunnel. The time savings lasted only 6 months.

I profoundly disagree with your statement, I find the Waterview tunnel absolutely awesome, it cuts my travel time to the airport by 7 minutes and now, people from most areas of Auckland, including the North Shore, can drive to the Airport without having to leave the motorway and clogging up central Auckland.
The new Waterway tunnel is absolutely fantastic

"The Waterview Tunnel had a large, but only temporary, impact on Auckland's congestion problem, a new AA report shows."

Check out the arterial road average speed. Faster in 2017 than 2016 after waterview opened, but by November speeds are back to where they were.

This is during the peak. I'm sure for specific night time journeys there will still be good time savings to be had.

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/02/why-auckland-s-traffic...

i use it a lot - and have 40 staff on the road during -- i suppose you are right and they are all wrong - but Kumeu to Manakau used to be well over an hour during the day - and 35 mins now -

you could always try it ... even at 80KM it was saving 30 mins + on a west to south drive

The extra 30-35K chefs and tour guides that piled in during that six months may have had an impact.

As for your claim that nation planned a normal rail solution instead of light rail, i suggest you re-read the ATAP reports developed under the national government. There is no heavy rail link to the airport.

30. A mass transit solution (advanced bus or light rail) costing up to $1.2 billion was
therefore identified by ATAP as being necessary early in the second decade. $500
million was allocated in the first decade to fund route protection and early stages of
construction. Faster bus ridership growth on this corridor now indicates completion of this
investment should be brought forward by 3-4 years into the first decade, as detailed
below:Completion of isthmus mass
transit (city to Mt Roskill) within
first decade. Mode and detailed
timing to be determined through
business case process."
40. Since ATAP’s completion further work has been undertaken into the preferred mode for
this investment. The Boards of Auckland Transport and NZTA agreed in February this
year to progress route protection and undertake further work on a proposed ‘staged
transition’ from bus to light rail to further assess key operational elements, required
trade-offs, flow on effects, transition impacts, and resilience issues.
41. By the end of 2018 this work will have been completed, giving a more complete picture
of the likely timing and costs for this investment. Work to progress isthmus mass transit
needs to be developed in a way that future proofs for integration with a longer-term
extension to the airport

"http://www.transport.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Land/Documents/Auckland-Tran..."

I think the letting fee ban is a great idea. These fees should be paid by the landlord, not the tenant, as the landlord is the one with the relationship and bargaining power with the agent. Previously the agent could just invoice the tenant as the “stuffee” of that cost, and the tenant had no basis for negotiation. The fee should be factored into the rent like any other cost. But given the amount already extracted by agents from landlords, I wouldn’t expect this would be the straw that breaks the camels back for agents.

I have just rented a place for which I had to pay a weeks rent plus GST as the letting fee. Without a word of a lie the REA spent all of 40mins to earn this fee. It is an absolute joke.

Yep. The agent is the landlords agent, not yours. The landlords has no interest in the fee, if you don't agree to pay it they'll just pick someone else. You have no relationship or leverage with the agent, if you don't pay they'll blackball you on the flat. You are the "stuffee"

Kudos to Labour for the ban on letting fees. Its not unknown for some property managers to turf out good tenants as they could reap letting fees from fresh tenants. Landlords may not know or be unconcerned to the fast turnover of seemingly good tenants. But, if property managers were to demand letting fees from landlords, then the latter may scrutinize the matter. So longer tenancies may set in.

Some property managers may try a loophole by calling letting fees as "admin fees etc. The devil is in the details of the law to forestall these creative attempts to circumvent the law

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Abolishing of letting fees (plus GST) after just six months in power and National had nine long years. Another election promise kept - tick. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

It's certainly possible that more properties will come under self management in line with Eco-Birds comment above. While this was touted some time ago, it's just another reason for amatuer landlord/speculators to exit, further pressuring prices.

A lot of speculator cm landlords fell asleep at the wheel and just woke to the stark reality NZ finally has a Government that keeps to its election promises. HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN!

There's no merit to keeping election promises if those promises are stupid and pointless, and that is exactly what this action is.

This cost will not be paid by landlords or by letting agents. It will be paid by tenants as part of their weekly rent. They'll probably end up paying more overall than if they had paid the one-off cost up front, since you may safely bet that weekly rents will not be reduced once this one-off cost has been paid off. Great result

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I have no doubt that virtually all tenants would prefer that this cost was bundled into rent paid over 12+ months and the landlord had an incentive to minimise that cost.

And yes, it is a great result, this is a good reform

Hey tm2 you and I both self manage. Rent increase on the way for us and all others in the same boat. And the increased cashflow on investment properties will result in capital gains

Houseworks, ha-ha :) due to leverage, you're already charging what you can get away with now so good luck with that! Take it on the chin. This is part and parcel of living life as a novice speculator cm Landlord.

Thanks for the comment, you couldn't help yourself. What I was also referring to is that purposebuilt investment properties are valued on cashflow. For every 10 dollars per week over 52 you can multiple the sum by 20 (5 percent return) as a rule of thumb for the capital value. A measly $10 per week rent increases the owners equity per property by more than $10,000. You just learned something new to add to your vast knowledge.

.

Houseworks, I will enthusiastically refrain from adding this to my knowledge base - thank you. What you refer to as a measly $10.00 per week can be the straw that breaks the tenants financial back. Its merely an amateurs way of dealing with one's own financial predicament. This is not a smart strategy to retain good loyal tenants.

Hardly an example of a Landlord providing an essential and affordable public service now is it?

Fiddling the poor tenant is so rewarding....is it not?.

Fiddling the tax component...may be a new issue.,,under Labour....one hopes.

I just saw a troll, a Real Pratt. Go back to a hole you can share with your homeless offspring

Houseworks, fine :) If nows not a good time for you, heres what others are doing to remedy a complicated prediciment; http://www.nzherald.co.nz/personal-finance/news/article.cfm?c_id=12&obje...

And what is your point?

Funny when both parties probably ask the same question of one another without stopping to think....'Have I missed something?"

Houseworks, now is a good time to shave a measly $10.00 per week of your food bill instead of your tenants. In fact try for $20.00! Based on your above formula, just think of all that extra equity of up to ($20,000.00)

Are you drooling yet?

If incorporating the letting fee into weekly rent on average increased rents by $10 a week, what was previously stopping rents from being $10 a week higher? I thought rents were based on the maximum the market will bear.

And that is your problem - that the market is currently enabling landlords to charge pretty much whatever they like and tenants have no choice but to pay them.

That is because there is more demand than supply and the supply side is being constrained from responding to that imbalance by planning laws that effectively make it illegal to build affordable homes in places where they are needed.

The government should be focusing everything on addressing that. Until they do so, this sort of thing is just rearranging deckchairs and wasting time and resource that could be used to address the actual problem.

Well they may be keeping their promises but is this a promising start? For all of those who looked forward to a tax rampant government, guess it is.

I think the fuel tax will be an interesting one.
- Will rising fuel cost lead to higher product/service price? Most likely for some
- Will it encourage people to use public transport ? Maybe, maybe not
- Do we need more fund for road & transportation? Yes

I am an Aucklander and I might be the only few who support this move. Auckland's road and transportation is a joke and it is overdue for an upgrade. The question is will the fund be spent wisely, only time will tell :(

Higher fuel costs will lead to reduced vehicle miles travelled all other things being equal yes.
More money for infrastructure will mean that there will be less traffic congestion, which will also result in reduced fuel consumption. Those two together have an interesting feedback loop. Both of which result in less fuel being used which is both better for our environment and our economy with the imported oil.

Higher fuel costs should lead to less discretionary travel. But will do next to nothing to reduce Mon-Fri commute traffic and other non-discretionary travel. There will be marginal improvements as a tiny portion switch to public transport or carpool, but most will just have to suck up the extra cost until public transport become usable for those working outside the CBD.

Most rental agents have lately been charging both the tenant and the landlord one week's rent each to cover their mounting advertising and selection time and expenses - this used to be a free service to landlords, not anymore.
Now, agents will need to scrape the Two Week's + GST from the landlord ... two week's letting fee is about 3.8% of a yearly rent and that will be charged when tenants are replaced - So, some Landlords might recoup that from the next tenancy and other private renters might not .... it might see rents rise slowly going forward after few years - but it would be hardly noticed if this CoL pushes other measures for depleting more residential investment yield ... then they will see rents shooting high..

The fact that PT is providing evidence and reassurance the these measures wont increase rents shows that he is cautious about the effects of such bills on Rent, and probably won't push for more silly measures to push rents up dramatically in future.

So for now PT is tinkering round the edges with this one, limiting rent review to once a year, and the dry home bill .. and these are all good really to get dodgy landlords to clean their mess and be pulled inline.

However, just like any other products and services, there are costs for providing a Good Service and quality accommodation. Rents will rise as expenses and costs mount up ..

This measure will not push up a tenants costs. Tenants already pay the fee. It will only change to whom and how that fee is ultimately paid in whole or part by tenants.

Landlord chooses to hire these useless parasites, only fair that they should pay for the service. If the tenant's going to pay, then it's only reasonable that they have power of veto on the company and or manager hired.

Actually seemed to work quite well in Scotland: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/38092539/letting-fees-ban-how-it-w...

Despite all the moaning from the doom and gloom merchants.

Exactly, it's already law in Scotland, the sky has not fallen in

Rents won't rise as a result, just landlord costs. Landlords are already charging as much as they think they can get away with when renting a place out. Was chatting online with a friend of mine, he just got the latest rent rise letter from his landlord, right on the 6 month since the last rise. He's told him to get stuffed, he's out and moving back to Sydney. He thinks NZ landlords are complete *bleep*s, and the city is a shithole by world standards.

BAN LETTING FEES ???????????????

WTF ?

Is he nuts ?

Has he never heard of that sneaky little problem called unintended consequences ?

This is blatant interference in the free market system .

What is going to happen next ............ ban On- Road - Costs when a buyer buys a car ?

Ban car -hire companies from charging hirers an administration fee ?

Ban buyers fees and brokerage on share-transactions on the NZX ?

Ban user fees when you sign up for a Gym membership ?

Just how is anyone going to find a house to rent if landlords have the upper hand in an under-supplied market ?

The market will simply increase rents to cover this cost .

What is clear is that this Government does NOT want anyone to provide rental stock to the market .

Maybe they plan to house everyone through Housing New Zealand

I hope they have deep pockets.

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Common sense moves by PT.

Also glad to see back of Coleman to private sector health where he belongs. He had zero relationship with DHBs and zero interest in his portfolio except for underfunding public health system to the advantage of private health providers such as the one he is now CEO of. Go figure.

Agreed TD. Dr Death exits stage left. Don’t think he will be missed by many in the health sector, much more likely the opposite. But what about the electorate. All those who voted that he represent them for another three years. In the face of that, can we say this is a move based utterly on the self interest of one person.

See Stuff today -

"Labour's 2017 candidate for Northcote, Shanan Halbert, says he is ready and willing to run again in the upcoming by-election.

Incumbent MP Jonathan Coleman's resignation on Tuesday has sparked a by-election in the Auckland electorate.

Halbert, 35, ran against Coleman in 2017 and lost by about 6200 votes, narrowing the 9,700 majority Coleman won in 2014."

Could get interesting. Maybe a referendum on the Opposition?

Good job. Get people off their cars

Jami Lee-Ross should also read the ATAP reports if he thinks national were able to fund Aucklands transport projects without additional tax revenue. Where did he plan to fill the ATAP funding shortfall from?

And if he thinks National were able to do previous projects without additional taxation, can he please explain what the 6 increases in fuel tax under National were used to fund?

They were used to fund the RONS projects (Roads of National Significance).

exactly, national had to increase taxes to fund Aucklands transport projects such as Victoria Park Tunnel, waterview tunnel, western ring route

@DTCARTER ........... Did they really INCREASE taxes to pay for these projects ?

I seem to recall my income tax coming down uder the first Key Government .............. and it did not go up again .

Company tax remained the same

The only tax that went up was consumption tax ( GST ) which is the fairest form of tax

A tax is a tax is a tax...

well you are obviously a top earner if you think a drop in the top tax rate is more than compensation for a rise in GST and fuel consumption taxes.

Yes National really did increase fuel tax to pay for their out of control motorway building. They also redirected funding away from road maintenance and away from road safety They even had to top up the land transport fund from general taxation as even with the tax increases and redirection, fuel tax did not raise enough to fund their spending.

“Auckland Council’s staffing expenditure has gone up by about the same amount that [the Government] want to tax Aucklanders more by.”

What's he talking about? Here's the stats on employee costs 2012-2016;
http://www.localcouncils.govt.nz/lgip.nsf/wpg_popup/Profiles-Councils-Au...

Less than a 10% rise in staff costs over the 5 year period - not bad performance in that regard to my mind.

Maybe he is alluding to how much they waste. Never be able to get a good fix on that though.

Kate, this one has finally been sold a couple of weeks ago *phew*
https://nz.raywhite.com/auckland-city/remuera/1831863/

That's great for the owner :-). Miserable being on the market for an extended period of time.

What a disastrous campaign I have to say!

Why waste money on light rail to the airport. We already have Skybus which is under patronised due to cost. Two people on Skybus is about equal to one uber fare from the city area. I know which one I would rather use. Put subsidy money into Skybus. Make it Hopcard eligible for Auckland residents. Drop the fare to $5 each way. Increase frequency to every 5 minutes from Britomart. 2 existing routes via Dominion and Mt Eden Rd plus add an express via the motorway and Waterview tunnel. Service the airport business district (for workers) with one of the return legs from the airport (allow free transfer to this service at the domestic terminal) Trial it for six months. If it works it proves the case for public transport demand to the airport and hopefully gets some cars off the road. If it doesn't get used then cancel it and forget about the light rail for a while. Most of the commentariat that cries out for public transport to the airport just want other people to use it. So their corporate cab ride is a little bit faster.

Most of the purpose of light rail is to provide much better public transport around Mangere, Onehunga, Mount Roskill and the city centre. The airport is merely the icing on the cake, it alone will not provide enough patronage.
If you make the sky bus service as many places as light rail will, it will be much slower. National looked seriously into that as an option and even they realised it was a bad idea.

New North, Sandringham, Dominion and Mt Eden Road are saturated with buses. Anyone living near and working near one of those bus routes has ample opportunity to use public transport. If they don't it is because they don't want to and they can afford the convenience and comfort of a private car. Will an extra $5 - $10 a week for petrol change their behaviour? I doubt it. Onehunga has a train station and a bus station. 380 Bus goes every 15 mins from Onehunga to the airport via tiki tour of Mangere. So only good for airport users who have plenty of time on their hands. Just have limited stops for the sky bus (like they do now) to make it faster. I doubt a light rail service will stop every 200m like a bus does.

When you increase skybus to every 5 mins, what route will you make it take in the CBD, given that existing bus routes are at capacity and need significant investment to get us through until a mass transit solution is in place?

When CRL is completed skybus should just drop you at the Mt Eden train station so that you can catch the train to the CBD without getting stuck in traffic on Symonds / K'Rd / Queen St.

Bus + train + walk. Plus in my case + ferry + bus + walk. Hahaha.

Car + train + walk for me all in less than 15 mins.

Anyone who thinks you can pass a law to make something in short supply cheaper or more affordable , clearly does not understand the first law of economics .

And interfering in the free market system either fails or has unintended consequences .

As the good Minister will discover .

The housing minister is is losing sight of a very fundamental rule ............. and that is that the end user or final consumer ALWAYS ends up carrying the cost , the only exception being where the State explicitly covers the cost

This applies to everything from paying GST to putting fuel in your car or smoking a cigarette and entering into a lease agreement .

The principal of fairness is more important than a defence of the status quo.

The market will adjust.

suggest you re-read your ECON101 notes Boatman. First law of economics, price is where the demand and supply curves meet.

Ergo, increasing supply will lower the price, all else being equal

duplicated post

Boatman is all over this comments section. Normally people say their bit and carry on with the day. Do these actions by Labour go against his vested interests?

I believe he has reason for some serious concerns. The Labour party pre election made it very clear that it was their intention to fund their programs and projects by the simple expedience of helping themselves to an unprecedented level of taxation. History tells us this is what the Labour Party does traditionally anyway. Because they woke up in time to the electorate backlash, and frantically back pedalled, doesn’t mean to say the tax agenda has been forgotten. Far from it especially when you have the like of Clark & Cullen lurking and whispering prompts from the wings. The Labour Party has the ability to tax this country to a standstill given half a chance.

I have no interest in residential property other than my home ............... but I can see stupidity a mile off , and this is just stupid .

Do they want no one to provide housing rental stock ?

If so , they are going about it in the right way .

I'm surprised that the government can just ban a service fee. It seems to go against all our free market principles. Someone goes to an agent to find a house to rent and is charged a fee for this. Sounds fairly reasonable. This could have quite an impact on poor property managers if they don't recoup it elsewhere which they will. What could happen is that the managers will up their take of the weekly rent to cover this cost and landlords will seek to get this money back by approving of rent increases more often.
I can see this being a win for the property managers as they will increase their take by a percentage point or two and maybe eventually get more in the long run. Landlords will justify the rent increases by legitimately claiming increased costs. Just a small increase of 10-20 dollars a week.

They are not banning THE FEE. They are changing the manner in which the tenant pays that fee. If it is charged to the landlord the tenant indirectly pays the fee via the rent, just as the tenant does for the landlords other costs. The law already regulates what and how much a landlord can require a tenant to pay for lots of things, this is no different. The landlord should pay the fee as they have the negotiating relationship with the agent. The landlord can then price it in the rent, or take the hit, whatever.

Sheesh, doom and gloom all the time with you....you've changed

This fee to be paid to the renting agent is a relatively small additional cost to the landlord. It would be bundled up into the profitability calculation along with rates, maintenance, insurance etc. These all seem to go up continuously at an above CPI inflation rate. The renting fee would not be separated out and treated as a separate extra.

Exactly, it's not big it can just go into the landlords financial mix.

This is small beer, I am interested in what they gave to say about security of tenure. Then the landlord waterworks wil really start, there will be lots of gwumpy old men making lots of comments in CAPS!!!!

Commenters here constantly go on about poor yields for landlords and how renters are getting a good deal renting a million dollar house for $500 a week. And you know what? They're right, it's a crappy business but now suddenly an extra cost is just "small beer" on top of our pathetic yields.

In the context of the overall costs and revenue, it is indeed small beer.

But just keep thinking of all those juicy tax free capital gains you'll make in the next 5 years, you'll be RICH!!!! And the rental market needs all the mug property investors can get, so please don't go....

Except the houses aren't really "worth" a million dollars, maybe half that. And if you don't like it.. sell :P

looking on the positive side,your yield should improve as a percentage of your rentals value when it is worth 800K lol...bank might see it differently at re-fix time...

Glad to see this guy sticking to the election promises, albeit being labelled stupid, crazy, dreamer etc by many people here. Hope the house passes this legislation.

If the landlord+agent combo increases the rent to accommodate the 'invisible' letting fee, that may get added in CPI or inflation , which has been missing in our economy . isn't it ?

Unintended consequences .. lets see; atleast this is what 50+% of voters wanted

#ISupportTwyford ;-)

Come on, everyone knows "letting fees" are a gourmet plated brass band piss take!

Ray White Parnell agent charged me $150 one off letting service, Trademe, look through, signed agreement - excellent service to a property owner. But he was also charging my poor Tennant a separate $450. Too easy. Not fair to clip the ticket at both ends.

It's a Landlord claimable expense.

Exactly.

There's the problem. If they had charged you $450 as their principal and client you would have told them where to get off. But they would have just dumped it on the tenant, "you want, you pay"

Tenant often doesn't get the bill until after they've signed the leasing paperwork. And for that, the letting company has probably done nothing more than stick their logo on the ad. Last time I struck this particular rip-off, they did nothing for either the owner or the tenant. All the actual work, like paperwork and answering teh phone for enquiries and attending viewings was done by the owner. They're completely superfluous parasites preying on both sides of the contract, and we'd all be better off without them.

Really? I thought they paid at the time they got the keys. No pay, no keys. No agent is going to take a tenant IOU. I think you haven't quite got the general practice right, agents will take the money up front as a condition to keys

Probably, but in this case the agent did sod-all, owner did all the actual work, including paperwork and keys.

It's a pure shakedown, and ought to be illegal.

Agree, bless you

But, As the Owner I have more leverage over the agent than the Tennant does, the Agent wants my property on his books. So he has to grease me up. And therefore not over charge me.

The unfairness is that the Tennant has set up costs every time they move. It's an unnecessary imposition on often financially vulnerable people.

Yep, and Scotland's experience of banning them has been a success for tenants, from the looks of it.

All the objections look like more bitter whining over measures having their intended effect.

Can't wait for a big fat cheque coming my way soon ;-)

Great. Can you please also send us all a dick pic? We're all really interested.....honest...be sure to work your big fat cheque in the pic, have fun with it!

Start showing some class DGZ!

I'm trying to give people from Parnell a better name. DGZ your not showing your "with nobility comes obligation".

Class be damned, that comment deserves a supporting dick pic!! With cheque!!

To do that he might need to use the cheque to buy a good microscope.

Haha, well you’ll get banned too

I'll make a Chardonnay Socialist out them all! It's actually a cost effective solution to moral luck, and all manner of other ills of the idle classes. A little humanity doesn't cost anything.

@ DGZ. "Haha you just reminded of my upcoming tax return. I just got my 16/17 FY sorted 2 weeks ago. Can't wait for a big fat cheque coming my way soon ;-)" With inane and bumptious comments such as this you are a perfect representative of the property speculator's weltanshauung.

Make the most of it DGZ...when negative gearing losses are ring fenced,the cheque might match the size of your d*ck...

I'm wondering if this is something we can take to the United Nations? It's pretty disturbing to be honest.
A fair government would set limits on how much agents can charge landlords. Maybe cap their fee at 5% of rent?

I'm wondering if you recently had a recent blow on the head you're not telling us about

Actually, being sensible for a moment, probably a bit late now, but how about a law that stated a landlord would have to reimburse the fee if he was selling the house or moving back in himself?

I really do think Phil twyfords idea is a bit better than yours.....after due consideration

It's not Twyford's idea, he stole it from the Scots.

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Isn't it amazing how stingy and selfish some of the self licking ice cream cones that comment here are.

Mostly members of the generation that had everything handed to them on plate with a cherry on top.

We are literally talking about a couple of hundred dollars here. A rounding error in the scheme of things.

There is no fuel levy or letting fee that giving up smashed avocado and latte's won't pay for in spades sweeties.

Which is quite different to the dire situation for housing.

Yes, perhaps you'll now have to think twice about which parasitic letting agency you use or what the churn rate on your awful rental hovels are. Not necessarily a bad thing and it will still be easier than exercising that woefully under developed sense of empathy.

A certain segment of society was vastly enriched by the mass immigation circus championed by the last government. But at the slightest whiff of any boomer-anged cost they shriek to high heaven. A bit like screaming toads. If only they could experience the crush loaded and understaffed schools and hospitals they might have something to moan about other than the evil "taxinda".

Not to mention, the letting agent is hired by the landlord to provide a service to the landlord. The landlord is responsible for paying the agent.

Letting fees charged to tenants are a blight that deserve to be done away with, as they have been elsewhere.

@rick .. dont be ridiculous , if the tenant does not like it , they are free to rent a house from someone else .

It called the free market , we have freedom of choice , and the last time I checked no put a gun to my head to do business with anyone be it a real estate agent or a supermarket

The fact that it is expensive is irrelevant

Just like I am not happy to pay $2 for a litre of milk , when my cousin a dairy farmer gets 12 cents a litre .

Is that fair?

No its not , but if you dont like it , dont drink milk

How's it free market to force somebody else to pay for something you chose to buy? You didn't have to hire an agent/manager, nobody had a gun to your head, but you decided you would, because you can foist it off on some innocent third party who had no part in the agreement, spending somebody else's money, so who gives a monkeys? Feck off. If prospective renter approached the agents as part of finding a place, then it's reasonable for the agent to charge them a fee. If the landlord chose to hire them, then that's who pays.

I’m all for the fuel tax, because I now drive so little I’m relatively unaffected. Isn’t it ironic that those of us close to the CBD are in the most valuable homes yet it’s the commuter belt that will be hit hardest with this new tax.

Because it doesn’t personally affect you then it’s okay. ;)

Pretty much, yes. I made a personal decision not to drive so will escape it for the most part of it. Same as I do with not smoking or drinking. As it is I pay more tax than most and it impacts on my ability to save. I don’t apologise for being happy that the COL have failed so far to get more of my earnings.

I just see this letting law change as a Labour vote catcher/retainer just like Jacinda cruising around the Pacific handing out more money. Of course the cost will be transferred into the rent calculation so really there is no benefit to anyone just a time waster. Given Labour will also restrict the number of rental increases per annum obviously any increase will just have to be higher. There is a real threat that the available pool of rentals as a % of the market will reduce with all the other factors coming into play like ring fencing loses, brightline out to 5 years etc. Things change in everyone's lives so being cornered into holding for 5 years is not helpful. The private rental market needs to operate freely, it plays an important part in any economy making it to hard will impact on the people who can least afford it, surely Labour stands for helping these people not making rents higher. Like all laws Labour has the potential of driving rentals into the black market that gives tenants no protection.

Tell the single parent who now won't have to koff up an extra weeks rent up front that somehow they aren't "really" any better off for PTs efforts.

This Government has only just started on righting the good Ship HMNZ Faircrack. By their lights.

Are you paid by the number of posts, size of the post or the level of obsequious fawning to the COL?

Ex Expat, are you trying to tell Tim Depositor to go away?

No, I enjoy his/her posts as they're more transparent in their allegiance than for example the poster that had their posts removed re dairy farming conflation with political affiliation.

Thanks Ex Expat. Remember its Chardonnay Socialism is my real code. I just like human beings in Government for a spell. It's intoxicating...
What can I say...?

I keep getting confused...I re-checked the election results,it appears the Coalition of Losers was in fact the Nats + ACT (otherwise known as David Seymour)
The current Coalition Government as elected by the people under the current MMP system is in fact the Coalition of Winners (CoW)

Maybe your thinking was clouded by obsessive tendancies toward DGZ.

Noooo,DGZ is awesome,the world is a village as they say...and every village has to have it's quota of idiots...

Can DGZ and TTP please sort out amongst themselves who is actually performing the role of village idiot, as it's now getting quite confusing. Thanks in advance.

The village of Northcote currently has a vacancy,the incumbent idiot has just done a runner...

And such a grown up way of kissing."bye bye" main pillar of the nation's fourth estate.
The by election will cost National votes.

https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/353193/jonathan-coleman-hangs-up...

Just glad to see the back of Troy state capture and all round arrogance, e.g. Dr Coleman talk to RNZ -

""He said he had not known about the problem because he had not been told about it.

Ferguson: "That seems astonishing Minister, that if most people in Wellington at the ministry were aware of this, and the Counties Manukau chair knows about it, and the Health Minister doesn't, isn't that stretching incredulity to breaking point?

Dr Coleman: "No, it isn't actually, if people don't tell me I don't know."

Ferguson: "Why would people keep this from you though?

Dr Coleman: "I don't know, but this is not the topic of the interview so I'm a bit disappointed that once again Radio New Zealand ring up and say they want an interview on my exit from politics, and then make it about something else, but anyway, there you go."

Ferguson: "But isn't this quite interesting coming at this particular time when this is a problem that seems to be pretty significant at Middlemore, and you were the Health Minister for some time beforehand. You're saying you had absolutely no knowledge of this.

Dr Coleman: "No, hadn't been told about it. Anyway, have a great day, I'm walking with my kids and I'm leaving politics, so thanks very much Susie, bye bye."

Mr Coleman then hung up." "

Well from my experience in those cases Social Welfare help them out and the money is returned at the end of the tenancy, so no one is really better off as far as I can see it's just an illusion ? I'm all for any Government helping those who need it but this just like the one rent increase per annum rather the the existing two does not make the tenants position better. Surely Landlords would take the opportunity to make any rent increase larger to offset any unexpected situation that may arise ? I guess at the end of the day if people see these as a win for themselves so be it !

My suggestion is for all accomodation supplements, WFF benefits,student living allowances should be paid directly into landlords bank accounts to reduce the chance of some it slipping through the net and being spent unwisely by the poor...(actually in the case of WFF,the not so poor).
Landlords didn't get to be where they are without superior knowledge of financial planning and is so doing they will be able to impart their knowledge to their tenants as to how if they work ahrd,save for 63 years,they to could become wealthy.

You're idea has merit but I think would run foul of human rights etc. It's really important for everyone to learn financial planning, not everyone ends up in a highly paid job so being prudent and being able to budget is essential. Whether you earn alot or have to work 2 jobs the key is what you do with your money is the ultimate outcome to one's financial position, however clearly not everyone has an interest in financial matters. This is something I would love to see introduced into the education system real life skills.

I was being sarcastic...

Poe's Law?

Its amazing how little acknowledgement financially successful give to the part that good luck played in their success. It starts with the vagina you emerge from and carries on from there. How about we get rid of all the various accommodation subsidies (Landlord welfare) and people pay the rents that their income can actually afford. That would be a very unlucky break for all those wise (lucky) old landlords. But would do a lot to control rents and house prices.

Well done Labour. And Twyford for pushing the long-overdue ban on letting fees.Some Property Managers are happy to turf out good tenants as fresh tenants mean another round of letting fees. Landlords may have been indifferent to fast turnover of tenants.
But, if letting fees are demanded of landlords, then there may well be increased scrutiny of the agent's actions for fast turnover of tenancies. We may see more settled tenancies lasting a greater period of time.

Am sure some minds are already busy at work trying to ferret out loopholes on the Letting Fee ban. Perhaps trot out these couched as admin fees, tenancy agreement fee etc. Creativity cannot be underestimated

More guess work and following the Poms. Why does anyone think that the "motherland" has it all together. Don't forget these are the people who used to shoot our sons when they suffered fighting other peoples wars.
It would be nice to know how the minister figured out how much is paid in letting fees each year. He has not even specified how many properties are managed. He either does not know or is keeping it a secret to share with Jacinda. Is he going to change the amount that HNZ charges private owners to manage their properties when they sub let them to their tenants.

Im so glad to see letting fee abolished.

When they first starting charging letting fees I found it quite obscene that they were asking for a fee to allow you the pleasure of paying them for the service they were providing you.

Does any other industry that rents out equipment do this??? imagine going to rent a car and being asked to pay for a weeks rent up front just for the pleasure... Its ridiculous!!!

Well done Labour!

Just to be clear, they aren’t abolishing the fee but providing it can’t be charged to the tenant. So it gets charged to the landlord and is bundled as needed in the rent. All good, but check out the comments from all the gwumpy old men landlords on this site.

Also check out the hyperbole coming out of NZH re this.