Minister of Housing Phil Twyford eyes increase to tenancy termination notice periods, ‘no cause tenancy terminations’ and limiting rent increases in shakeup of the Residential Tenancies Act

Phil Twyford by Jacky Carpenter.

The Government is appealing to the public and asking for feedback on its plans to shake up the Residential Tenancies Act.

In a discussion document, Housing Minister Phil Twyford outlines a number of ways the Government is looking at updating the law.

These include ending “no cause tenancy terminations,” increasing the notice period landlords must give in order to terminate a tenancy to 90 days (up from 42), and limiting rent increases to once a year.

“We want to strike a balance between providing tenants with security of tenure and allowing them to make their house a home while protecting the rights and interests of landlords.”

The reform will not be looking at rules around bond or composition and jurisdiction of the Tenancy Tribunal.

National’s Housing Spokeswoman Judith Collins says the proposal is a “knee-jerk and uninformed decision” that won’t solve any problems.

“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 says it is important to strike a good balance between landlords and tenants but so far “Twyford’s decisions seem to result in both parties losing out.”

Twyford says New Zealand’s tenancy laws are outdated, given one-third of all Kiwis are now renting.

The current law came into effect more than 30 years ago, but Twyford says the housing market is a much different place today.

The proportion of households renting has increased from 23% in 1991 to 33% in 2017, while the rate of home ownership in New Zealand has dropped from a peak of 73% in 1991 to 63% of households in 2017, the lowest since 1951.

“Our tenancy laws are antiquated and don’t reflect the fact that renting is now a long-term reality for many of our families.”

Twyford is urging landlords, tenants and other interested people to have their say on the proposals to reform the law.

The Government has been talking about amending the law for most of its tenure in office.

In March, Twyford told media he would be looking at using the amendment to scrap letting fees.

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

But Twyford says the new rules will benefit both renters and landlords.

“The reform is looking at both sides of the relationship. In addition to specific proposals on topics such as security of tenure, general questions are asked about the responsibilities that tenants and landlords have and whether these need to be reconfigured to give each party greater confidence in the relationship.”

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) seeks written submissions by 5pm on Sunday 21 October 2018.

Here is the full list of proposed changes to the law:

·         Ending no cause tenancy terminations while ensuring landlords can still get rid of rogue tenants

·         Increasing the amount of notice a landlord must generally give tenants to terminate a tenancy from 42 days to 90 days

·         Whether changes to fixed-term agreements are justified to improve security of tenure

·         Limiting rent increases to once a year

·         Whether there should be limitations on the practice of ‘rent bidding’ 

·         Whether the general obligations that tenants and landlords have remain fit for purpose

·         Better equipping tenants and landlords to reach agreement about pets and minor alternations to the home

·         Whether further controls for boarding houses are needed to provide adequate protection for boarding house tenants

·         Introducing new tools and processes into the compliance and enforcement system.

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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143 Comments

*Grabs Popcorn*

Yup.

...and addressing the supply issue?

They're building 100'000 affordable houses in the next 9 years

Yeah right! Both to the 'affordable' and to the 100,000.

Squishy
A most pertinent comment.
Given that yields are currently below 5% (interest.co) and that investors are far less active in the market, this just adds another nail in the coffin of landlords.
I find it amusing that this is trying to address an imbalance - wow! I note that over 90% of applications lodged with the Tenancy Tribunal are from landlords. Who are the rouges in what should be a mutually agreed rental agreement?

To take the stats on Tenancy Tribunal applications is probably a bit of a stretch. Money is a big motivator to take action, hence I’d assume a big portion of Landlords are claiming rent arrears and damages/clean up costs.

How many tenants are going to take a day off work for a Tenancy Tribunal hearing because the landlord hasn’t fixed the toilet, broken light switches or leaking roof?

Hi Nzdan
Likewise; how many landlords are willing to just take the day of work for a Tenancy Tribunal? For a landlord to go to the Tribunal is one of last resort after personal attempts to mediate and offer means to get a solution have failed. A landlord is not going to just go to the Tribunal at the drop of a hat.
You seem to be suggesting that rent arrears and damages and clean up costs by tenants are acceptable. Tenants can just walk away into the unknown from damage and not cleaning up, or rent arrears; so difficult for a landlord to follow up. If the toilet or light switch hasn't been fixed despite documented requests (including a 14 day notice to remedy) the tenant can merely suggest either that they will withhold a rent payment or at least threaten the tribunal as leverage; the landlord wont be disappearing into the unknown and will be on the back foot if a tribunal hearing does occur (with likelihood of penalties) which will get the landlord reacting to fix the problem. Landlords are really not in that much of a powerful position as seems to be commonly perceived.

Well, according to THE MAN 2 he wouldn't need to take a day off.. because he doesn't have a day job.
And many tenants don't know their rights, and get bullied into things that they shouldn't have to put up with, or just fold to avoid not getting a good reference. (my partner is one, her last landlord got away with charging her money she should not have paid, and wouldn't fight for it back when I pointed out it was totally illegal for her to have been charged that money).

Hi Pragmist
If the issue is that tenants don't know their rights, then that is what needs to be addressed - not stomping down on landlords with tighter regulations.

I agree that there are some landlords out there who are unreasonable and need to be taken to task just as there are many many really great tenants (including the ones I had).
However, I don't think that the proposed legislation addresses the issues of bringing such landlords to task and is simply punitive for those many good landlords.

Been to the tribunal 3 times in the last 5 years.
Won each time because we work within the law, so we were always going to be in the right.
We wouldn’t waste our time going if we were in the wrong as it goes on your record.
Tenants that go and aren’t going to win are plain dumb, as it works against them as the result is published for all future landlords to see!

Fair comments, I agree.

Twyford doesn't understand supply and demand. Or at least he knows his voters don't. Another week another token half ass measure. A few of the points are good but at the end of the day landlords and charge high prices for low service if there aren't enough houses for all Ian Lees-Galloway's highly skilled chefs.

Totally agree. While there are some good points, they are just addressing the symptoms of the supply and demand issue. The best defence against rogue landlords is to even up the power imbalance by increasing the supply of rentals. Providing more choice to renters is far better than relying on laws.

It's easier to formulate more regulations and policies from the confines of one's chambers than it is to step out on the field and address the demand or supply problem.
The coalition, since taking oath last year, has conveniently opted for the easier way out that gives them the much-needed photo opportunity without actually doing any heavy-lifting.

The laws in place now often don't get enforced. What tenant moving rentals wants to get put on the shared naughty list database simply for sticking up for their rights?

Realistically, you're talking two different time horizons each of which will have some measures that can be applied to it.

And you also have examples such as Germany where there are more sensible laws around the rental market, and accordingly more professionalism.

Hi bilbo
RE: "Twyford doesn't understand supply and demand"
Don't be surprised. Rather than a government of rational decision making, this government seems more about simply being a populist one. Bottom line on this one, COL is enacting legislated to favour and impress their renter constituency.

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Getting rid of the letting fee is a good idea. Silly double-dipping that only encourages rogue property managers to produce worse outcomes for both tenant and landlord.

How is it double-dipping?

I assume the meaning is double-dipping by the letting agencies.

Think of it in terms of the fee charged by employment recruiters - the employer pays, not both the applicant and the employer.

Hi Kate,

I still don't get it. The service provided by the letting agent (advertising, showing prospective tenants the house, preparing the contract, lodging the bond, background check etc.) is paid for only once, by the tenant.

In a perfect world I think the letting fee would be split 50/50 between the tenant and landlord. The letting agent is performing a service benefiting both parties. They are getting the tenant a house and they are finding the landlord a tenant.

Edit: the agent I use in Auckland charges the tenant 100%, but Tauranga is 50/50 split between tenant and I.

Edit: Not sure about the recruitment company analogy. I worked through a recruitment company in the UK. They charged both the employer company (through a one-off fee) and me as a % of my hourly wage.

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I'd prefer to see the landlord paying any required letting fee. It's the landlord's decision to employ an agent to act on their behalf, and they should pay for the privilege. I've not paid letting fees when dealing directly with landlords, only when they have chosen to outsource to an agent.

So If the landlord chooses not to use an agent and do it themselves instead, can they charge the tenant for their own time and advertising costs? The investment property is a business for them after all - their labour shouldn’t be free, just like any other business.

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My understanding is, no they cannot - just as an employer cannot legally change an employee a fee for hiring them.

Right, I'll rephrase the question , I meant "would it be fair for the landlord to charge the tenant for their time" instead of "can they charge the tenant for their time". If a landlord wants to charge for their time at the moment they need to do it through their lawyer.

But back to my comment above, I don't see where the double dipping is. At no point does the letting agent's service get charged for twice.

The RE agents in Taupo charge the tenant 1 week +GST and the Landlord 1 week +GST.
Go you double guzzlers!

Its the same in Tauranga. The total cost of the letting agent's service is two weeks rent. They charge 50% to the landlord and 50% to the tenant. They are performing a service for both parties, so this is fair. 50% + 50% = 100%, not 200%. They are only charging for their service once. This isn't a double dip, the cost is just being split between the tenant and landlord.

Your calculation is wrong. 100% + 100% = 200% See what I did there? Look and learn.
Standard practice for the last 20 years has been 1 week rent +GST charged to the tenant. So now charging a week to the landlord also is what I assume the earlier poster refers to as double dipping. Looks like it to me.

Evidence?

Or FEE SPLITTING

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Landlords do charge for their time involved in managing their rental properties. It's called rent.

At the moment landlords don't charge the cost of finding a new tenant in the rent (advertising, showing prospective tenants the house, preparing the contract, lodging the bond, background check etc.). It is paid up-front, usually by the tenant, to the letting agent.

I've rented directly from the landlord a couple of times, neither charged a letting fee, whereas every time I have rented through an agent, they have charged a fee. So, while I can only speak from my own anecdotes, I'm not sure you're correct. Landlords who do their own advertising and signing on tenants do not seem to charge for this service, presumably they see it as worth putting in the work to ensure the property is rented out and looked after.

It is not legal for a landlord to charge letting fee directly to the tenant. He is just talking in convoluted riddles as usual.

They can, they need to do it through a lawyer though.

How about the tenant bills the landlord for the cost of moving?

I think the incentives are better if that is recovered through rent rather than up front. Further encourages the landlord to keep their tenant happy to avoid the hassle and cost of switching, allows tenants to move more freely and with fewer costs which is good the country as it allows people to move for opportunities etc. It balances out against the long, boring months where nothing goes wrong and you just sit back and collect the rent payments.

That all comes under the rent you charge the tenant, as part of your business you need to know what costs need covering and what margin you will want to make on top of that.

A letting fee being charged to the renter is ridiculous! renters shouldnt have to pay a one off fee for the privilege of agreeing to pay someone for a service.

At the moment it doesn't "all come under the rent". It is paid for up front, usually by the tenant.

So you want the landlord to add the cost of finding a tenant to the rent? So the tenant has to pay say an extra $5/wk for years on end, which will eventually exceed the cost of the letting fee they would otherwise have been charged? Doesn't seem like the best outcome for the tenant, but this is what will happen if the landlord has to pay the letting fee.

There is a cost associated with connecting a landlord with a tenant, and administration of the contract. There is no logical reason that this cost should be borne by the landlord. It will be passed on to the tenant one way or another, just as it would be for any other business.

The logical reason for the landlord to pay for the services of his or her property manager is because he or her has the commercial arrangement with said property manager. There's no sense in them being able to foist an extra fee onto tenants, for services that are being paid for through property management fees.

If you're hiring a property manager, you should pay for the services for which you've hired them rather than outsourcing that payment to someone else who would really rather it wasn't an additional cost of moving.

Experience in Scottland has suggested it's not passed on in rent once done away with. However, most tenants I've heard from don't mind the idea of it being spread over the longer term - as in fact, it was before it became the fashion to slap on an additional letting fee. Was it missed in the past when it wasn't around? Of course not, how absurd.

In addition, it also disincentivises the undesirable property manager behaviour or seeking to turn over tenants as often as possible in order to collect more letting fees.

Letting fess would be fine if they were reflective of some kind of inherent value add.
Unfortunately like all property management services, they aren't. They are simply an arbitrary charge, given that they are conveniently all market capped at the nominal rate of a week's rent.

If the property managers want to charge them to tenants, make them detail the components of the charge and prove that the tenant is receiving some commensurate value for the surcharge.

Letting fees cover the letting process (advertising, showing prospective tenants the house, preparing the contract, lodging the bond, background check etc.), not ongoing property management.

All services provided for the benefit of the landlord, upon being contracted by the landlord.

No, the letting agent got the tenant a rental.

Yeah okay...it makes perfect sense that a tenant would be wanting to pay for the landlord's property to be advertised to various other potential tenants. Nice one.

Next up: recruitment agents charging new employees an employment fee.

I didn’t say they “want to pay” anything.

Now imagine in an alternative universe there were 2 rentals for every 1 prospective tenant. Who would be doing who a favour?

No, the tenant got the RE agent a letting fee from the landlord. RE agent should be kicking some back to the tenant :)

I fail to see why that is a charge to the tenant, though...
In every other industry that cost is capitalised in the price, not as some arbitrary surcharge.

(advertising, showing prospective tenants the house, preparing the contract, lodging the bond, background check etc.)
Why should the tenant pay for advertising the property to other prospective tenants?
Why should the tenant pay for other people to be shown through the house?
Why should the tenant be paying for the Property Manager to do their due diligence?
These are costs that should be on the vendor, not the tenant.

Why does the peoperty manager receive more money for letting a $250pw property than a $1000pw property?
Do their costs go up according to value? I seriously doubt it.

The landlord wants a tenant - the letting agent spends time and advertising money to make it happen. The tenant wants a house to live in - the letting agent spends time and advertising money to make it happen. The service benefits both parties.

The cost will be passed on the the tenant through rent, in the long run.

So when you buy a car you believe you should be charged an additional fee that goes to an advertising agency for the benefit they provided you by giving you awareness of the car and its desirability? Great idea.

The price of a Toyota includes the cost of Toyota’s advertising. Pay through an additional fee or pay through the cost of the vehicle - end user ultimately pays, one way or another.

As you've noted, without letting fees the same will be true of rents and it'll make it easier for tenants to absorb. Win-win.

It's what the organised crime biz calls a standover.

If a Landlord uses a Property Manager then they pay the Fee. Which in reality would be reflected in the rental charged. However where the demand exceeds the supply them people exploit the situation by inventing extra/or additional charges. Catch twenty two if you want to rent the property you pay Right???

The cost of finding new tenants isn't being covered through property manager fees paid by the landlord. At the moment it is being covered by the letting fee charged to the tenant. This is the main source of your confusion.

Also, property mangers and letting agents are not the same thing, although some companies do both. I use letting agent's, but I don't use a property manger. Certainly no double-dipping here either.

Before the days of letting fees, the cost of finding a new tenant would've been covered through marginally higher rent. This was then replaced by an up-front letting fee. If letting costs are put back on the landlord in NZ, this will simply translate into marginally higher rent. This is rudimentary market economics.

Your comment about property managers trying to turnover tenants to get the extra work and letting fee is baseless - pure speculation.

Nothing wrong with it being captured in the cost of rent, as in the past. Scottish example is also rudimentary market economics.

Not speculation, accumulated accounts from landlords as well as tenants.

Yes. It will be covered by the tenant through rent, but many don’t acknowledge/accept that.

Is that like you not acknowledging the overseas example I cited of that not really happening either?

Besides which, $600 spread over two or three years rather than an up-front payment every time a tenant is forced to move, and no incentive for the property manager to churn tenants - what's not to like? Why on earth would you not support that?

Perfectly fine. But there is no double-dipping at all and tenants will still be covering the cost. The MBIE Impact Statement confirms the latter.

Landlords won't be able to just add this cost on to rent. There are plenty of Landlords who don't use letting agents and you will have to compete with their price or have the property sit empty.

In the long run they will.

Go read the MBIE Impact Statement

Twyford hasn’t got a clue!
Oxfam needs him back.

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Why does THEM AN 2.always write really short sentences??
Each one also has a new line.
Is it because he's not that smart???
Could someone who can't.
Write a paragraph properly ever succeed.
In anything except property speculation???
If he was born a millennial would anyone hire him??

Simple reason; too busy selling houses and can only manage to squeeze in a short sentence while waiting for the traffic light to turn green.

Bullet points effectively provokes thoughts rather than rambling sentences!

Hi saving for auss..

To answer your questions:
Don't know.
Yes
No
No

MTP

So he wants to do nothing, get back to us Phil when letting fees are banned!

Landords should NOT be able to increase rents until a tenancy is renewed - unless stated in the tenancy agreement beforehand.

Also tenants should NOT be legally obligated to stay in properties that are NOT fit for purpose! Waiting months for a tribunal date is unacceptable.

Phil is addressing nothing - I'm starting to think this man is a ducking idiot .. A landlord ALREADY must give at least 90 days' written notice to end a tenancy, but can give less time (at least 42 days' notice) in certain circumstances.

A landlord CANNOT evict a tenant FULL STOP until their tenancy term has expired - this is ALREADY LAW !!

It's already 90 days (after tenancy expires) - lying Phil Twyford, at it again! Go ban letting fees mate and maybe actually read the Residential Tenancy Act - unbelievable, and he wants us to suggest ideas to him - unblock your ears mate!

This is beyond the pale!

Yes, you should make a submission. I suspect a number of NGOs will get in behind many of the points you raise.

That said though, I was of the impression that a landlord could give a tenant notice during the term of their tenancy on the grounds that a relative was going to move into the property? I seem to recall one of our kids once having been given notice only three months into a fixed term tenancy for that reason. AND they never got their letting fee refunded!

No, it is totally illegal to give notice during a fixed term tenancy. Family members may want to move in - too bad! If the fixed term tenancy period is NOT up, the landlord has NO legal grounds to evict. Young people get exploited a lot by landlords.

Even if the landlord is homeless, living under a bridge - they still have NO legal right to kick a fixed term tenant out. If they are selling the house, the fixed term tenancy will be inherited/sold to the new owner - the tenant CANNOT be evicted.

Many renters are ignorant of their rights, often through no fault of their own.

Gee, that was the letting agent that misrepresented their rights to them then. When they told me, even I believed it. In many ways, we are all a very trusting lot.

@ Kate

It's not your fault Kate - it happens to a lot of people and it makes me furious!

Zack you are completely right - all the way until the end - if renters are ignorant of their rights - that is completely their own fault and nothign to do with you me the government or anybody else -

\its personal responsibility - there is information on their tenancy agreement - on websites - at CAB's and library's. Ignorance and laziness are not excuses sorry

Woah what a badass. Suppose you're into the whole "tough love" thing as well.

That's a bit harsh, I hear what you're saying though. Please note when people are mislead by property-managers/landlords there is often no meaningful recourse they can seek. Kate's child obviously had a fraud perpetrated against him/her and I'm sure no parent wants that for their child.

Also there are many ESOL migrant workers who are heavily reliant on the information others give them. There is no excuse for taking advantage of people, especially people just starting out. Please have a heart.

do you apply this logic both ways... like when landlords sublet a minor dwelling and charge their tenants a portion of the fixed charges for water and electricity.. Is it fine when the tenant turns round at the end of the rental and says, btw, i need all those fixed charges back, you can't charge me those?

I have been saying this was coming so not surprised, with a larger population now renting and landlords calling themselves a business to justify some actions (which no business would ever do) you could only see one outcome.
this will make it hard on the good mom and pop landlords with a lot more regulations to adhere to
BUT will it stop the rogue ones

I think this is exactly the problem - it is a business when it suits (eg for offsetting tax) but a hobby otherwise (eg when the government tries to regulate decent minimum standards, health and safety, etc). Real businesses owners encounter all sorts of issues - theft, vandalism, armed robberies, etc. but that doesn’t mean we let them get away with selling a substandard product, or one that is making people sick, or charging fees that should be paid by the business, or discrimination on who they sell to.
A lot of the mom and pop investors are now gran and gramps- and they haven’t seen the need to update the property since they bought it in the seventees. “We didn’t have insulation and double glazing when we rented in the 50’s, why should these folk have it now”. If I rented a car from a business and it was stupidly old without any modern safety equipment and the exhaust was leaking into the cabin, I would ask for a refund (at the very least). The fact that that was probably acceptable in the 50’s is irrelevant.

If a Fixed Term Tenancy is still current, the tenant cannot be kicked out, FULL STOP!

Once the tenant's fixed term expires, then a landlord can give 90 days notice - the law is already 90 days~!!!

Stop lying Phil Twyford~!!! Why are you lying Phil???? That's a good Trumpian name for him .. lying Phil~!!!

I encourage all landlords and tenants who have read the tenancy laws to start referring to minister Twyford as "lying Phil".

Grow up.

most people aren't on fixed term tenancies,and landlords are known to abuse the 42 day rule for evictions.

Where is your evidence most people aren't on fixed terms? Granted once a fixed term is up, a tenant automatically goes on a periodic tenancy, so what? - the landlord has fulfilled their contract and can give 90 days.

Once a fixed term has ended, the landlord must give 90 days to evict - how much notice does a tenant need to give - 21 days~!! Sounds like a double standard to me. And yes, I'm a renter, on a periodic tenancy, BY CHOICE~!!!

my evidence is in your own statement.. unless you are suggesting most tenancies last less than 2 years?

After being on a fixed tenancy for years, our landlord did not want to renew so we reverted to a periodic tenancy. It wasn't by choice. We did however cross out the 42 day notice clause. Otherwise you're screwed if it gets terminated during peak periods and you only have a small window. I went out of my way to remove this clause - think it's a good idea for it to be minimum 90 by default if periodic, assuming no unintended consequences.

In my five years living in New Zealand I've twice been kicked out due to sale of property, which only needs 42 days notice. It does happen. Why are you so angry about making the 90 day requirement universal and removing these exceptions?

@ mfd

If you had a fixed term tenancy, you could NOT be kicked out~!!! Fixed term tenancies (contracts) are sold with the property. If you choose a periodic tenancy, that's the risk you take, but you enjoy the benefit of only having to give 21 days notice.

Yes, in both cases the property was put up for sale immediately after the first 1 year fixed term contract came to an end. I then had 42 days to find a new home. Increasing this to 90 days sounds good to me.

I thought the law was that they could only use the 42 day period if they claimed they were moving back in, or moving a family member back in.. For everything else it's supposed to be 90days. Of course many landlords lie, and claim a family member is coming back form overseas, then 6 weeks later the for sale signs are up.

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I will only accept Fixed Term Tenancy and I have not kicked anyone out before the fixed term is expired in my life. The 90 days notice post fixed term should be changed to 6 months to give tenants peace of mind to find somewhere else to live.

that's nice DGZ - when the revolution comes, I hope your tenants will save you

Thanks Chairman. Yes I know I'm nice so there's no reason why my tenants wouldn't save me when I'm in the sh*t.

I will only accept Fixed Term Tenancy and I have not kicked anyone out before the fixed term is expired in my life. The 90 days notice post fixed term should be changed to 6 months to give tenants peace of mind to find somewhere else to live.

If the law stayed as it were, then you're possibly differentiating your offer from the other "businesses". That's a good thing for you. All power to your entrepreneurial apporach.

This doesn’t concern me too much. I’m an attentive landlord and pick good tenants, so doubt this will change anything for me.

Letting fee (which may be a seperate proposal?) will be a bit of a burden and healthy homes regulations yet to be seen. But what could really screw up the market in a big way for both tenants and landlords is ringfencing and maybe capital gains changes.

At the moment Grant Robertson and the Tax Working Group’s ideas are more of a worry that Phil T.

Rental properties especially an over abundance of them do lower the aesthetics and quality of affected suburbs. The complaint of "there goes the neighbourhood" has much truth. Sadly once such trends have been commenced it is very hard to reverse them. Landlords do create ghettoes.

It is BS that 90 days needs to be brought in as all it will do is hinder first home buyers from being able to buy!
If a landlord wants to sell his rental property to a first home buyer it is going to be extremely difficult with a 90 day period before the first home buyer can move in and it will stall all the sales along the chain.
Hasn’t been thought out once again by Twyford and co.
Landlords don’t generally sell property on tenants unless the tenants are not that flash and the landlords have had a gutsful.

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Nice to see your comments are of their usual quality.. do you have a resource consent for dumping that load of bovine excrement here?

Just his usual outrage porn - he is still outraged that National lost.

The landlord could just serve the 90 day notice on the tenants, then once they are gone sell the house. Problem solved. It also gives the landlord the advantage of staging the house to it's potential and having it available for viewings at any time. The benefit for the tenant is they do not have to endure the hassle of open homes. Personally I will not sell when the house is rented (just not fair on the tenants), though I know landlords who rent the property out (periodic tenancy) and put it on the market the next month. As the intent was obviously there from the outset, I think the tenant should be due a full refund, plus moving expenses.

Of course I am pissed off that we have a coalition government that is seriously bad for NZ
It hasn’t affected us because we are financially secure but it is the joe average that is going to be shafted big time.
Surely there aren’t many left that still think that they know what they are doing?
If you do then you need to take your blinkers off!

Who knew you were so altruistic? I would never have guessed from your narcissistic name and your comments here.

Long overdue. Doesn't go far enough.

What additional measures would you like to see?

I would like to see a shift to a more European model where the tenant has the lease until they don't want it anymore.

Hell, I'd be happy if residential leases just reflected commercial leases with longer terms and right of renewals. Why don't they btw?

Also pets. How is it that I can have a toddler but not a pet?? There is zero difference between them from a property maintenance perspective in my opinion.

This concept interests me as a potential landlord. I'd like to invest in building shells where the tenant fits it out and I'm guaranteed sufficient return.

BTW: Two reasons I see pets as different to toddlers: 1. Pets are often left alone in properties, toddlers aren't. A whining dog will go all day if left alone and drive the neighbours nuts, a toddler will cry and be attended to. 2. While toddlers can make a mess of a property, pet damage is often more annoying e.g. carpet used as a scratchy pole, tom cats spraying, dogs scratching doors and cupboards.

I would probably be on board for something like that (I have friends who have done this in Berlin and I think you get better outcomes for all involved). It would also solve the most bond issues as the tenant owns all the fittings.

I can see your point about Pets vs Toddlers but for the most part, I still disagree.

1. Whining dogs are annoying and hard to solve without good training that seems to be beyond most people. I'll give you that.

2. For all your examples listed, I'll counter with, kids can stain and mess up carpets and have accidents and can damage doors and cupboards. You can train your kids not to do these things just as you can train your pets.

All these things would be covered by the Bond I have to put up, so I really don't see what the problem is. I would even put up an extra % for being allowed to have a dog if I wanted.

Dogs are social pack animals. They whine when they feel abandoned, some have real separation anxiety and have incredible stamina to make it known they are unhappy being left alone. If I never expected to work again I'd get a dog as that makes them great company. Having a cat is like paying taxes in that you get something in return, but you sense you're just the current trough filler and they will move on if unfed.

For every action there is a reaction. In Sweden they heavily disincentivise private landlords. It is primarily government housing over there. With rents essentially capped and little to no incentive for investment, there is a huge mismatch between supply and demand. Stockholm’s public queue for a rental in the inner city now averages 13 years. One of the perverse outcomes is that a huge subletting market has developed, called “second-hand renting”.

Always astonishes me how people think they know better than the free market.

Ending no cause tenancy terminations while ensuring landlords can still get rid of rogue tenants.

I guess every tenancy termination has a cause. The concern is if selling the property or the landlord moving back into the property for example is deemed as 'no cause'.

Oh dear more silly ideas ! Limiting 1 rent increase achieves nothing it probably encourages a annual increase just in case costs to the landlord occur over that 12 months. 90 days notice will make selling difficult and encourage shorter term lease times so tenents roll over onto periodic faster. Typical PT will end up making everyones lives worse, isn't time for an early election................

If you signed a hire purchase agreement, you wouldn't expect your payments to increase midterm, by an amount dictated/decided by the seller would you? You wouldn't expect to directly pay for the sellers advertising costs [alluding to letting fees] either would you?

You would also expect the product to be fit for purpose and safe. But for some reason none of the normal rules of buying a product seem to exist for landlords.

Removing the 90 day no-reason termination would be troublesome for removing those partners to Tennants who only smoke a little meth, break walls by a small amount and don't care a whole lot - none of which the TT can see a problem with. I'd like to see the bond raised or an optional insurance taken out by the Tennant to cover their liability.

Smoking a cigarette inside a house causes more 'damage' than smoking meth. Meth smoking causes no damage so I'm not sure what costs you're referring to. If your walls are being damaged, I recommend investing in door stoppers.

Get real. Never seen a waster smoke a cigarette, get angry and kick a hole through a wall, but certainly seen the results of the opposite. Then get the speech that young Johnny is such a good bloke when he's not on the P. No amount of door stoppers will fix that!

The most disgusting flatmates I've ever had have ALL been female - I'd take a Johnny over a Jessica any day.

While I agree with and think strengthening the laws is good, there will surely be a push back in tenant selection and quality of references. There are a lot of unsavory tenants, and professional landlords will start electing not to rent to everyone if they don't fit a safe profile (references, employed, no dogs, kids etc etc). There was talk of and official naughty tenant database a while back but it got canned. I would not be surprised if this went ahead in an underground capacity.

While increasing the pressure on the interest only ponzi, I suspect it will have little effect on the professional landlord with reasonable equity, other than having them say "no" more often. This will push the trash tenants onto HNZ and the debt stackers who need the income and must say yes more than otherwise. Low end commercial looking better and better every day.

What a clown this guy is. 'Tenants like letting fees'
https://i.stuff.co.nz/business/106598323/renters-like-letting-fees-prope...

Well, his job is basically to spread such rubbish. Whether he sincerely believes it is another matter.

So he either believes it or he's a bullshitter

So he either believes it or he's a bullshitter

So he either believes it or he's a bullshitter

What we need is for our tenancy laws to allow for an option where there are properties that are dedicated rentals, that are subject to long term leases (and I'm talking more like commercial rents) that can be onsold, or even sublet providing certain conditions are met, that people can, if they wish, stay in for life without fear of being turfed out at any time. They can be decorated, painted, carpeted etc and all fixtures and fittings would belong to the tenant, so that if a lease is onsold those could go with it.
Ownership of them could even be via co-operatives where tenants can own shares themselves.
I believe this option would attract the best tenants. Landlords would still be able to offer rentals pretty much as they are, if they want, and for the basket case tenants is state housing.
I wonder how that would look in ten years time, if implemented today

Not having read all comments there may be some doubling up here.
To me it appears that the government wants to further themselves into the rental market. Even if they don't want that the market may well force them to do so due to a shortage of private rental accommodation, I would say that plenty of rental properties will go up for sale in the near future, this is likely to reduce the price of houses for a while so can be good for those that can afford it. First we need a working group to come up with recommendations.
Once this has settled down rents will go through the roof to cope with the uncertainty created and lack of rental space.
But in the end people that wish/have to rent need to stay somewhere. Who ya gonna call? The guvnment.
"No cause tenancy terminations" will become "all court tenancy terminations".
As great as it sounds it will become a nightmare and nothing but litigation. Landlords better start with factoring in a lawyer charge within their rent, doubt that insurance companies want anything to do with it and even if they do the extra cost will need to be paid.
The alternative would be fixed term/fixed rent tenancy agreements only, which is possibly the least stressful option for both parties as each side knows what is going on. Renewable of course.
Every year you may be looking at moving again but at least there is no dispute when you have to be out by. You may find that you won't get new accommodation after 2 end of term shifts. Which is just as likely a reflection of a crap landlord but explain that to a prospective one.
Probably not the intention of the Twyford Tenancy Tweak but if you want to rent and that is the only type of deal you can get the choice is yours: Sleep in the car or sign.

I think people who say “the rents must go up” are neglecting the other possibility - that the value of the business (house) may come down. If renting out houses is an easy cash cow, the value of houses is going to be high because everyone wants to do it. If it is hard, the values of houses will drop, and this will cause better yields to make up for it.

You think 3% yield in Auckland is an “easy cash cow”?

Not sure where Twyford is getting his information from?
Has Twyford ever been a Landlord or is he just making it up as he goes along?
Good tenants never get kicked out of their rental as landlords would be stupid to do this to their well behaved tenants.
I can tell you that there are a ton of people that you would not want to rent your asset to, although many do without checking them out properly first before giving them the key!
When the tenants become a nightmare for the landlords this is when the tenants get their marching orders!
Put it bluntly, It is not all a bed of roses for many landlords who put their money where their mouth is and provides accommodation for people who want or need to rent
Fortunately we have never been burnt but that is mainly due to our stystems and procedures!
Don’t know about Auckland landlords but I know that we have never once put up a rent during the period of a fixed tenancy and don’t believe that you should either as it is a contract for the period of the tenancy!
Twyford should be concentrating more on KiwiBore as he has gone very quiet on this recently, and how many of those KiwiBore houses have been built and people in them so far?????

This government is certainly getting things done. Already they have done more than the National government did in nine years. Imagine what the Coalition will do in their three terms.

This is obviously stage one, and the next stage will see more private landlords exiting the market. Twyford has effectively baited them by telling them to "put your money elsewhere then", and the backroom agenda (for all those people that are a bit slow on the uptake) is to dramatically increase the supply of state housing. There are a number of benefits involved in this strategy. Rents can be subsidised heavily and it provides a more comprehensive "all-in-one" welfare package provider under govt stewardship. Taxpayers will be falling over themselves to give more tax to fund this increase in state housing, akin to a New Deal change in our lifetime. This effectively tackles the housing shortage and affordability crises in one swoop. As an added benefit, this will also help to paint a rosier picture of all of the dreaded metrics like child poverty, meth use and domestic violence. For example, Housing NZ has effectively legitimised meth use in their houses, with the new higher limits allowed. So, the meth stats will show a dramatic improvement, as will the domestic violence and poverty figures, which the govt can significantly improve on over the next 5yrs or so, simply by providing free housing, food, etc.

Indeed, Comrade.

you might want to read this paper and then you will see why they are stepping in, either way the taxpayer pays through increased supplement year on year or increasing the social housing stock.
it all comes back to letting in too many people to fast over a number of years for a quick sugar fix and not having the infrastructure or social services in place to cope

https://www.msd.govt.nz/...msd.../housing-cost-impacts-on-as-recipients....

Why can't the govt be a market-rent landlord as well as a social housing provider?
If the govt provided market-rent housing they would recover costs over time.
Could build say 1000 per year and have a ballot system for them

Surely conditions for landlords and tenants should be the same? So if landlords have to give tenants 90 days notice to vacate, tenants should also be required to give 90 days notice when leaving a property.

Why? A tenant has to do a lot more when being pushed out of a property. Utilities, moving furniture and belongings, changing kids schools potentially, finding a new place to live, saving up a new bond. A landlord has to get some photos and place an advert on trademe, and maybe arrange a cleanup/bit of maintenance.

Yeah right when the tenant trashes the place on the way out. I don't know how landlords sleep at night. Had the chance to become one myself and thought no way in Hell. I have seen the type of people who rent and lets face reality they are renting for a reason. Too many drop kicks in the renting pool.

What renters have you been spending time with? Most of my colleagues rent as we're a fairly mobile workforce with many recent immigrants, and with house prices and rents both falling in Christchurch it's not a bad option at all.

Think you will find that rents and prices are not falling at all generally!
Poorly maintained rentals never have attracted a good rent!
Sales prices are actually not dropping at all.
Median price very stable actually went up last month apparently.
Average price in Chch has been badly skewed by the As Is where is prices and people are making a packet on these!

Both my experience and the reported numbers show a reduction in rent over the last few years. I'm paying less now than at any time in the last 5 years for a great house. House prices are not keeping up with inflation.

Yeah, there are some scumbags in the renter population, and when things go well they match up with the slumlords in the landlord pool, a match made in heaven. There are also plenty of renter's on 6 figure incomes who look after houses.

Carlos there are a ton of people you wouldn’t give the key to,your asset to!
Do your homework professionally and you should be just fine.
Better off having an empty rental than losers in them.

When I was renting, it was because i had just left school and didn't have a deposit for a house. Same with my friends. None of us trashed the rentals and I am pretty sure we all paid our rent on time. Sounds like you need to hang out with a better crowd.

My experience with renting the bond was seen as a lolly scramble at the end of the tenancy. No incentive for the Landlord to conduct maintenance, pray that your tenants miss something on the property inspection report and try claw that out of the bond at the end. I managed to keep my bond because I noted everything down, but it never stopped them from trying.

I don't condone willfully damaging other people's property, but no wonder it happens when Landlords and Property Managers treat their tenants like dogshit.

Can clearly see why you have your attitude!
You have no idea!

Good point, well made. I like the strong points you raise to support your argument. /s