Government to introduce law to limit rent hikes, enable tenants to add minor fittings to a property and limit landlords' abilities to end tenancies

Government to introduce law to limit rent hikes, enable tenants to add minor fittings to a property and limit landlords' abilities to end tenancies
Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi

Residential property landlords won’t be able to increase rents more than once a year under legislation to be introduced to Parliament in the first half of 2020.

Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi has announced a reform of the Residential Tenancies Act that will strengthen renters’ rights. The key proposed changes mean:

  • Landlords will not be able to end a periodic tenancy without a reason. The legislation will set out specified reasons that a landlord may use to end a periodic tenancy.
  • Fixed-term tenancies will become periodic tenancies at the end of the fixed term. This applies unless the landlord and tenant agree otherwise, the tenant gives notice, or the landlord gives notice using one of the specified reasons.
  • Tenants will be able to add minor fittings to their premises where the installation and removal of the fittings is low risk.
  • The Regulator will have new compliance tools to take direct action against parties who are not meeting their obligations.
  • The penalty amounts will be increased in line with rental increases since 2006, when the penalty amounts were set.
  • Soliciting rental bids, for example, by advertising a property without a rental price, will be prohibited.
  • The minimum period between rent increases will be raised from six months to 12 months.
  • A party who is successful in the Tenancy Tribunal can have their identifying details removed from the Tribunal’s decision. 

“With more and more people renting, the law should provide enough security to responsible renters to put down roots in their community,” Faafoi said.

“Greater security of tenancy and less regular rent increases, coupled with the ability to make minor improvements, mean renters will be better placed to make their house a home.

“Our changes are balanced, providing certainty to both parties about their respective roles and responsibilities.

“We understand that landlords require clear guidelines, which help them protect their investment and assist them in their dealings with difficult tenants and the law ensures this. If a tenant acts irresponsibly there can be repercussions.

“These reforms deliver on the Coalition Government’s promise to address out-dated rules for rental accommodation, and are part of our plan to improve wellbeing for many new Zealanders who rent their homes.

“These changes complete the package of improvements for rental markets that were planned for the Coalition Government’s first term and which also include banning of letting fees and introducing a healthy homes standard to ensure all rental accommodation is warm and dry.”

More information can be found here

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?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

153 Comments

Comment Filter

Highlight new comments in the last hr(s).

Easily overcome.
Put it up once every 12 months and take into consideration any other planned increase,in other words think ahead.

... OMG ... you think this bunch of brain dead spasmos can't get any more stoopid .... and gazunga ... boom da da la da ... they prove you wrong ...

Geez Louise ... Taxcindas lot are lightyears further out than just idiotic .... careening from insanity to barking mad , and beyond .....

So put yourself ahead of the market rate and miss out on the smarter budget sensitive renters?

depending on where youre looking to rent, there may not be the option for the renter to shop around

Wow dumb govt. Right now tenant lobby groups will probably be cheering because they forced the govt hand.

11
up

Judging by the amount of whining here and elsewhere they've struck a nerve.

Struck a nerve with me at least. Is it going to help the govt by alienating the good landlords who provide millions of homes for people. Oh but they will sell out and new home owners will pick them up cheap, no we heard that argument before.

19
up

The house is still going to be there, unless you plan on burning them down?

No no no, you don't understand! Landlords are our lords and saviours, caretaker of the poor, basically operating charities so that us lazy young people have a place to live. Without them we'd all be homeless!

so why dont you ?
live in a car

Alienation doesn’t tend to be a problem for the investor class.
I’m in both camps, renting in one market, landlording and developing in others. Quasi rent controls are inevitable when the multiples are out of sync as ours are. Maybe direct your energy currently spent in outrage to avenues where effort makes more money, like design, manufacturing, software, web apps etc etc. My day jobs are based in these industries and they leave property investment for dead.

Rent and price controls were tried in the past, 70s and 80s. They didnt work so the Lange government came in and literally changed everything.

Not everyone has the resources or nonce - they just have a rental for retirement

Good landlords? Are there any left, you know the ones who charge affordable rents, rather than arguing market rents?

If this move puts landlords out of business and more properties on the market, resulting in a drop of house prices then it is a good move. BUT there does have to be better recourse for landlords who have tenants who trash their houses. there is some significant damage done, with very little of the cost going to the people who caused it.

Rental property is a business. Every business has risks involved. If someone starts doing business without analysing the risks first, and doing their best to mitigate them, they deserve to lose their money.

If one good thing comes out of this change it's that I get to see these so called """"""professional landlords""""" whining on all platforms. Cry me a river, boomers...

@houseworks .......... dumb alright . the dumbest thing I have read about this the $100,000 penalty, which if any tenant could afford , he would have bought a home for him or herself .

Quite simply a penalty of $100k handed down in favour of a Landlord will NEVER be paid , and where the Landlord tries to pursue the matter , the tenant will simply go online and apply for the NO ASSETS PROCEDURE and have his /her liabilities extinguished .......... a short 12 months later they are back to normal .

The whole thing is an attack on private investment in property , and ( possibly without any thought to the unintended consequences ) designed to have no private rental stock providers , so if you need a house you will have the get a State House, with a 25 year waiting list.

If I was a younger man I would move to Queensland , where 20 minutes out of Brisbane, you can get a 3 bed house and land package for a very reasonable $ 450k

I hope the Government has deep pockets to be the landlord to all, sundry and everyone

"The whole thing is an attack on private investment in property , and ( possibly without any thought to the unintended consequences ) designed to have no private rental stock providers , so if you need a house you will have the get a State House, with a 25 year waiting list."

Hey Boatman, damn right you are. Imagine some commenters are calling this "rebalancing", yeah right. Good luck with your rentals, we have a bit of a strategy to handle this shit.

10
up

I'll be doing fixed term only from now on - probably 6 months to start with and then yearly if things go well. If the tenant turns out to be a nightmare at least I can terminate the tenancy at the end of the term.

Will have to keep close track of tenancy agreement expiry dates though. If you forget it is expiring and don't do anything it'll roll over into a periodic tenancy and then you are basically stuck with the tenant and would need to go through all sorts of grief to evict if things went down hill.

[Edit: appears the reforms may remove a landlord’s ability to end a tenancy upon completion of a fixed term agreement - it will automatically roll over into a periodic agreement and there would be very limited options to evict thereafter. To say this is concerning is an understatement. I’ll only be renting to saints from now on. Hopefully this aspect won’t make it through the legislative process]

You can sign a new fixed term at any time once it's gone periodic.

Fixed terms benefit both parties - more assurance for the tenant that they can't be kicked out early and assurance for the landlord that they'll have a tenant for the term.

Of course they've now made periodic tenacious harder to end for landlords, so there's less benefit for a tenant now to go to a fixed term.

That’s like saying I can go on a date with Nicki Minaj anytime. There is the minor detail of her having to agree to it, so not really. If they are on a periodic tenancy I can only sign a fixed term if the tenant agrees. And there is little incentive for them to do so if they are on a periodic agreement as they would basically have the place as long as they want it.

Actually one of the new reasons by which a periodic tenacies can be ended is that the landlord is not the owner and the landlord's interest in the property is ending.

Have to see what the actual bill looks like but there's an obvious loophole there.

Oh great, so if I want the tenancy to switch from periodic to fixed all I have to do is sell the property, and then maybe the new owner will want to rent it out and maybe put it on fixed term. Why I would care if it goes on fixed term after that I have no idea given that I no longer have anything to do with the property. Makes sense.

Rents falling, now this.. will def. hurt

What about where they're not falling which is the rest of the country except the top echelon of auckland homes so that's 99.1 percent of rentals?

Good if it benefits you

19
up

"With more and more people renting...."
So what are your government doing about lifting ownership Kris?

Not much

To be fair, houses are being built by the private sector, just not in the right location or the right money for some. Only unintelligent people buy them I'm told.

Agreed Fritz
We are witnessing significant soci-economic change in our society and blithely just allowing it to happen.
Late 1970s, Pacific Island immigrants - arriving in NZ without wealth and generally employed in blue collar work - but being able to afford to buy homes (Keith Hay) in Mangere East. (I can back that up with specific information.)
Home ownership continues to decline and percentage renting increasing.
Yvil posted a telling comment the other day as to how his parents - by choice - choose not to buy and 50 years later are still paying rent and have minimal assets. The reality is that home ownership has been an expected norm for the middle class and today their asset wealth can be attributable to that.
As nearly 40% of homes are now rented, we are headed towards a "renting middle class poor".

"Yvil posted a telling comment the other day as to how his parents - by choice - choose not to buy and 50 years later are still paying rent and have minimal assets."

Are his parent still in Switerland where it's a totally different equation? And perhaps dying and leaving money to Yvil and his siblings(?) wasn't part of their life plan...

Hi pragmist
From experience as retired pensioner, its great not having to find rent to out of my superannuation and meager returns on term deposits.

P.S. It is also great having that security of home ownership in old age. Don't think its going to be a heartless money grabbing unprincipled landlord that is going to give you notice; I know of a 72 year old who has been in a Napier City Council flat for the past 10 years has just been given notice out of the blue by NCC - she is pretty upset.

I would expect that the 10 year mark would indicate that this is for a full refurberation, so not without good reason.

'As nearly 40% of homes are now rented, we are headed towards a "renting middle class poor".'
It's a worrying trend P8, I agree with you it's not good. I think part of it comes down to the individuals themselves and their own life choices about what they do with their money. If young people in their 20s can achieve home ownership by saving then why cant others.

18
up

Garbage.
We are talking average household incomes in Auckland of circa 70k, and average house prices of nearing 1 million. The issue is horrid unaffordability.
Sure some people don't help themselves with their financial discipline, but that's a minor factor relative to the underlying issue of 'world leading' unaffordability.

You had your chance when you were young and blew it. Now you are just bitter and angry... just saying.

You sound a bit bitter and angry tonight.

But I dont hold a grudge against others who have prospered. And I dont expect handouts. If things are not to my liking I do what I can to get the best outcome...Make the best of a bad situation type thing. The various young people who have achieved home ownership in todays market probably think similarly

Ok boomer :D
Seriously, are some of you old people this dumb, or just trying to appear so?

Yes "seriously" it's TRUE there are some really dumb OLD people and there are thousands of them who never bought a house when they were young.... they probably thought homes were overpriced and overrated back in the 70s 80s and 90s.

We also cannot ignore the facts of NZ's history of deliberate effort to improve access to affordable home ownership. THAT is how NZ's home ownership actually got to the high it previously did.

It shocks me how blindly ignorant you are. The people in their 20's buying houses almost universally doing so with the help of either 5 figure gifts, interest free loans, or parental guarantees.

It wouldn't shock me if you believe born into a family without wealth constitutes a "poor choice".

Spot on. Best comment read on here in ages

@Fritz ........... notice how Kris has a supercllious grin on his face following this open declaration of war on a whole class of investor ............I hope the fool knows what he is doing , because when you kick a taifau that taifau could unexpectedly turn around and bite you on the arse .

Just a replacement set of rules to be worked with. If not "Landlords who do not comply with the Residential Tenancy Act will now be liable for payouts of up to $100,000. The regulator will also be able to make a single application against a landlord over a number of properties."
These changes will have minimal impact, if any, on decent landlords who are in it for the long term investment income (as they all are) and not the capital gain ( which, apparently, none of them are)

You give away your bias with the last part of the last sentence.

So many people are keen to see those with a few dollars behind them take a bit of a fall. Just tall poppy syndrome again.

13
up

Imagine being born in say 1992; At age 21 (in 2011), you might have just finished uni, and got a first job, with a clear career pathway which should see you earning good money. You saved hard, with the aim of buying a house in say 2014.

You were on track, doing all the stuff you were supposed to; saved hard, avoided frivilous spending, worked hard to progress us the income ladder. Getting close to a deposit.

Then boom, house prices exploded, and literally doubled over the next few years, completely outpacing your savings. For the next 5 years, despite the fact you kept doing all the above, you might as well have been standing still.

And all so a bunch of people who already owned property could make an unprecedented windfall.

Imagine that was you; tell me you wouldn't want prices to fall...

I think you will find that those wanting prices to fall are those who don't own. And not due to 'tall poppy syndrome', but simply because that will enable them to afford a house.

"And all so a bunch of people who already owned property could make an unprecedented windfall." This type of BS is what is wrong with this debate. It makes it sound as though it was planned. It wasn't. it was the unintended consequence of gullible politicians believing that "market forces" would ensure a fair and equitable market. The believed people wanted less Government, so in the name of the 'free market' they stepped back. It didn't work. People played the odds and the Pollies were too stupid to understand that their job, and responsibility to their constituent is to regulate to stop just that happening. Fixing it is going to hurt, but far more people will benefit than those who will get hurt.

It is not BS. The housing price hike was a result of planning, Auckland amalgamated into a Supercity and by 2012 had slashed land supply by about 30% below the previous norms. This inflated the price of Auckland land and the free market investment piled in to take advantage of easy capital gains.

Then in late 2017 Auckland increased their land supply by about 70% and the free market stopped investing heavily in Auckland.

I actually have a lot of sympathy for this view.

I reckon the vast increase in house/apartment prices was due to the money printing after the 2008 GFC. China especially printed a shit ton of money that went around the world looking for a home.

And much of it went to stable, democratic countries, with a proper judicial system (unlike China). So countries like the US, Canada, Australia and here.

And anyone with any commonsense at all could see it happening. But the previous government decided it was a good thing and turned a blind eye to it. Even accused those pointing out what was happening of being racist.

I have not voted National for around 8 years when they broke their "No increase in GST" promise. I hated what they did in regards to the housing market, it was criminal. And I voted against it.

Houses/apartments are now at stupid prices. But what could/should those of us with property have done? Apart from exercising our vote, there's nothing we could have done.

The Man. I think I should sell up all my rentals, or hand them over to a PM to worry about this blshit law. Either way it will mean rents increase for existing tenants. How about yourself? The other thing is, will the bill pass as it is or will NZ First pull Labour into line on the worst parts of this.

I would like to know what you find so objectionable in the proposed changes in the bullet points.
They all seem pretty reasonable.
I doubt there's anything in there that Winnie will find objectionable.
Btw people like you said rents would skyrocket when the last lot of tenancy changes came through. The evidence does not support that contention.

Well you're obviously not a landlord.

How about I rent a car but reserve the right to 'make a few minor changes'?

Or I rent a concrete mixer from Hirepool, but keep it as long as I want, with them not being able to ask for it back, unless they have a good reason. Oh and they can only increase the rental charges once a year.

No I am not a landlord. So what?
Tenants should have rights, or do you think we should be treated like an underclass?
Tell me what's unreasonable in this proposal, I dare you.

I thought I had, but ok, here we go again:

Firstly let me explain this situation: I have 3 apartments in a building. The building was an empty shell when I bought it and I built the apartments along with 2 commercial tenancies and some car parking inside of it. It took 2 years and was something I would never ever do again, mainly thanks to council hassles.

1) Not being able to end a tenancy without a reason: Sometimes people are just a bad fit. Sometimes I get an apartment tenant who upsets everyone else. Playing loud music in the wee hours, inviting unsavoury characters over and so on. Now, under the new legislation, I'd have to give some sort of reason like "Disturbing the other tenant's quiet enjoyment". And they may well make me take that to the Tenancy Tribunal. Have you guys been to the TT? It is so biased against landlords. I would have to somehow prove that this tenant was upsetting everyone else. How would I do that? I'd have to have signed letters from the other tenants or something. Photos? Audio recordings of the disturbances?

All so I can try and get rid of someone who is clearly causing problems. I doubt I'd win at the TT.

2) Tenants fitting stuff to my properties: I don't want them attaching shelving to my walls or doing anything else. I busted a gut building these things. They are all finished to a very high standard. Tenants do NOT make alterations in good ways. They THINK they are doing me a favour by adding things, but they aren't. This all costs time and money to remedy for the next tenant.

3) Minimum rent increase period going from 6 to 12 months: Surely you guys can see what is going to happen here. Landlords are just going to increase as much as they possibly can every 12 months. It's not going to be cheaper or better for tenants. Just stupid politicians interfering where they don't need to, distorting the market even further.

Now, given that I built these apartments and they wouldn't have existed if it wasn't for me, and also that they are in South Auckland, where we need more affordable housing: What right does anyone have in telling me what I can or can't do with them?

1) Improve your tenant vetting procedures. And yes, if your tenant is causing problems then emails etc from the neighbours, and records of council noise controls callouts etc would be good evidence.
2) So you built to a high standard then let to low quality tenants? Not a great move.
3) I mostly agree, but its still a market driven price, you can't just jack the price up without regard to the local market.

I think law must be more flexible with bad tenants who make life hell for neighbors, damage property and do not pay their rent. That has nothing to do with greed or anything. These are obvious deal breakers. Specially in apartments! in Germany you are not allowed to flush the toilet after 10pm and until 6am if you leave in an apartment complex.

A three flushes and you're out rule :-). And here, all hell breaks loose over light bulbs and shower heads;

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0810/S00187.htm

You assume so much. And you're wrong with your assumptions.

Who said I let to low quality tenants? I have a property manager in place mainly because tenant selection is the most important thing ever.

But even this being the case, things can change. Or they PM just got it wrong. Sometimes undesirable people can present themselves as being totally responsible, lovely people.

But don't let the facts get in the way of your predjudices.

"Landlords are just going to increase as much as they possibly can every 12 months." - isn't that the case already?
The point of this law is that a tenant will have at least 12 months instead of 6 not having to worry about how much more the landlord's gonna try to squeeze out of them. Moving to a new place every 12 months because of a greedy as f. landlords is much better than moving every 6 months.

Boy, you must choose some sh*t landlords.

This didn't happen to me. This tends to happen to people who can't afford the middle or high tier rentals.
But I have something called empathy, unlike many people here.

Well your obviously not a renter. How about the possibilty that someone makes you leave your home every six months, resulting in you having to go to a new school, or losing your job.
Got to be worse than worrying about a house you own but don't need.

Landlords only move tenants if there's a problem. If you're getting moved on every 6 months you must be a terrible tenant.

That is unfortunately not true. I know of people who were great tenants but the landlord had a family member come back from overseas and they decided they wanted that family member in the house instead.

haha, last time a landlord used the "my brother is coming back from overseas" line on me I spotted a well known local RE agent standing outside taking pictures and having a good old yarn on the phone the next night. Sure enough, no brother arrived from overseas, but a for sale sign did show up the day after we vacated.

Yep, one of our kids had that one only 3 months in on the tenancy - and the RE agent wouldn't refund the fee that they'd charged (a weeks rent) less than three months earlier. Thankfully, this government got rid of that charge on renters as well. All of the changes are simply common decency around commercial practice in this marketplace. It's sad to me that we have had to regulate for common decency.

It is simply impossible to explain anything to you Fritz, you come on here smoked up and and steamed up. A couple of months ago you couldn't understand why the .5 percent interest cut would boost property prices and I tried to explain to you but instead of a reasoned reply I got abuse...

There you go putting words in my mouth again.
I have simply asked you in a polite manner what you might find unreasonable in this proposal and why?
Of course you don't have to answer if you don't want you.
We could give each other a challenge. You set out what's unreasonable, politely, and I respond, politely.
I am sure we could both cope with that?

And then see who gets the most upticks ;) davo36 gave you good questions above and what's your response.... grrrrrr woof

Over to you, put forward your case.

I guess it could be worse. At least landlords are not being made to have to accept pets yet and have a limit on what rent increases can be (ie tied to inflation). I am sure its in the pipeline though

11
up

I actually thought that Faafoi was about the only one in government that had a bit of commonsense, however I was wrong.
What an absolute disgrace that this coalition could come up with this BS!
Faafoi, you need to think more before this comes In As it is going to affect every single person in NZ without doubt.
How on earth do you think that house sales are going to be occur when you have to give so much notice to tenants if the house is being sold.
So many sales are going to be affected by the long settlement dates and nothing is going to work if any property that is rented is involved!!!!!
Faafoi, can’t actually recall too many tenants wanting to voluntarily want to pay and have a dishwasher installed or pay for anything that they don’t have to in a house that they rent.
There is a damn reason that some tenants move frequently,y Mr Kris Faafoi, and that is because no flippen landlord wants them as they are axxxholes!!!
Yes there are crap landlords and you read about them often but there is one thing in common with most of them and that is that they come from overseas where living conditions are not as good as NZ, and Faafoi you are going to affect both tenants and landlords.
I do hope that landlords do put up rents because this coalition government has not got a damn clue about anything that they do!!!
They have to go because they are just so incompetent!!

The unintended consequences could be interesting. We had a tenant who was the absolute worst until I finally decided I had enough, issued 90 day notice. He complained to tenancy tribunal we were retaliatory. That was under the current law. Of course he didn't win. He might win under the new law and get to stay

Why might he stay under the new law?
It's not throwing out landlord protection, it's just rebalancing.
If you have sound evidence of bad tenant behaviour, you should still be on solid ground.

Rebalancing is what you call it. You have already admitted trying your luck at the TT. Under the current law as it stands.

CL. There has been a lot of talk lately about the need for large scale corporate landlords to enter the rental market. Known as Build to Rent. The extra supply would reduce rents and provide longer term tenancies. I CANT for the life of me see that happening under this threat and the ones you suggest. Corporate landlords will be even more focused on return than mum and dad investors. Returns will be falling and management costs increasing. The corporate landlords will FLEE as fast as they can.

In the world of facts, though, aren't corporate landlords more common in markets overseas where these and even more 'orrible regulations are the norm? E.g. in parts of Europe.

13
up

This is a step in the right direction in line with more sophisticated countries. Owning property is like any other business and should be regulated as such to filter out the speculators, mum and dad amateurs and shonky operators. Good work labour.

Labour does not have a majority in parliament to make legislation

Thanks for your comment Houseworks...

"Government to introduce law to limit rent hikes" Good well done!

Yeah.
They can still increase it once a year. I would suggest that's totally reasonable.

NOBODY has questioned that aspect, even your buddy ashley.

Your mate Dave36 above just questioned it. You just referred to his comment. ???
Have a good night, waste of time even trying to engage in a semi intelligent discussion with you.
I put an offer to you, and you just came back with the usual nonsense.
Take your meds, you sound terribly angry and upset. Don't want you not getting any sleep.

10
up

This is interference in natural market forces. This will create distortion. This is dumb. This will be an administrative nightmare. This is starting to hark back to the last Labour lot. We know, we say, you do.

Natural market forces...

Do you also argue in favour of dumping the Accommodation Supplement? That has to be the most distortionary aspect of the current rental market.

Checkmate. Well said Kate.

10
up

This will increase the professionalism of landlords no end. The day of the tinpot mom and pop landlord are ending. I deal with a lot of landlords in my line of work and there is an emerging type that is clued up and very professional, however there is a big chunk who are not and are literally as thick as pig shit when it comes to knowing how to behave towards their tenants, that sort of landlord needs to be gone burger. Next up Chris, licencing Property Managers.

Exactly. For good and reasonable landlords these changes should be no issue at all.
'As thick as pig shit', yes well put.
My last two.landlords were like that, total clowns, took them both to the tenancy tribunal and won handsomely.

Oh I see, you're a tenant who's had problems. Now your comments make sense.

You're still completely wrong of course, but at least is makes more sense.

And if I remember you're a council planner right? That also fits.

"a tenant who's had problems" - he won though. So it's the landlord who was problematic, not him. Can you even read?

Of course he won, with a biased and twisted TT adjudicator. I'm not saying his case did not have merit, but the TT is often heavily biased against the LL.

No one better to decide who's biased than one of the parties in the dispute. They always have an unbiased perspective, so it is easy for them to identify when someone else is biased.

Was he your tenant? If not, how do you know he won because of a biased procedure? Are you just assuming? If so, you're a fuckwit.

I find the "Landlords will not be able to end a periodic tenancy without a reason." change to be pretty unreasonable. In my opinion, it should be the landlord's prerogative to end the tenancy. It is their property after all.

Now of course sufficient notice should given when ending a tenancy. One could argue that the current 90 days is a little short, particularly if notice is given shortly before Christmas. I think much more sensible would have been to increase the 90 days notice period.

What's so problematic with having a reason? Most of the time there will be a valid reason and it just has to be stated. Don't see what the drama is.
It might offer a bit more protection to tenants where the reason is unreasonable. But that will be rare, surely.

Like you said above mate... you're the argumentative type. If they gave you a reason you would have a problem with it and complain to TT and might get to stay. Then tell the landlord "I will bugger off if you pay me."

You sound really worried tonight.

I'm not worried.... you read me wrong.
Maybe you should be worried, especially after all your litigation history... it makes a public record that anyone can search. You are becoming an UNTOUCHABLE.

10
up

"The legislation will set out specified reasons that a landlord may use to end a periodic tenancy.". So it has to be an approved reason. Let's say I have a mate in a tight spot, so want to let him live rent free in my investment property for a while. Is that an approved reason? How about if I want to sell the property, and believe that is best achieved without the current tenants. Is that approved? I absolutely think that a landlord should be able to end the tenancy for these reasons, and probably various other reasons that are too numerous to list.

Let's say my reason is that I suspect the tenant is up to no good in the property. I bet that's not going to fly with the new law either. But I think the landlord should have the right to decide the perceived level of risk they're facing with the property is no longer acceptable and end the tenancy. Under the new law, my assumption is that they'd have to have some level of proof which could be quite expensive to obtain, e.g. hiring a PI or whatever. Remember, this law change is just for a periodic tenancy. Obviously the landlord should not be able to end a fixed tenancy at any time.

Funny thing is, I'm not a landlord. I'm a tenant and have been for several years. I consider myself pretty sympathetic to the plight of the tenant. I think the law should be fairly balanced between the landlord and tenant. Periodic tenancy is already somewhat unbalanced as the tenant can give 3 weeks notice but the landlord must give (about) 3 months.

This regulation makes it way more unbalanced and for the worst in my opinion. Imagine if the tenant "had to give a reason" and there was only some finite list of reasons. It'd be ridiculous, just like this new law.

All very sensible points.

I'll add that I have absolutely no issue with a maximum of one rent-raise per year. Ditto for the recent healthy homes laws - they are a great development in fact.

I'm not overly keen on allowing tenants to add minor fittings. I do foresee issues with botched home handyman work being carried out by tenants, with the definition of "minor", and with what is acceptable damage following the removing of said fittings. But maybe it can work OK. It certainly doesn't irk me to the same degree that the changes around ending periodic tenancy do.

11
up

My predictions as a result of proposed bill FWIW, and I don't think it's rocket science but here goes...

Rents up
Rentals down
More homelessness
More needing social housing
More animals in shelters/ pound/ being euthanized/ sold on TradeMe, given away "free to a good home", etc
More emergency grant benefits and benefits of all kinds
Inability to check tenants backgrounds could mean for some possibly less tenants moving around if they're in a good rental/ have a good landlord, therefore not wanting to move
Property manager fees up (justification for "increased compliance")
Taxes up
More tenants crowding into dwellings
Some rentals released to market, while others put on airBNB and others left empty
Greater demand for serviced sections/ land in well-located areas

Meanwhile in the background, rates and insurance ever increasing, rents continuing to push ever higher to maximum tolerable/ affordable level with increases to employers minimum wage, therefore businesses rethinking hiring/ replacement/ growth intentions due to wage bill... less jobs available, more unemployment, more homelessness...

Unfortunate to see this government repeatedly using blunt instruments to tackle issues without putting the time into researching consequences and doing impact reports. Could be the undoing of the COL in 2020.

Ha, they said the same this time last year with healthy home standards.
Guess what? Rents down (very slightly) in Auckland over the past year.

From my observation on the rental market in west Auckland, the highest ever listed, with 60% available now, more downward pressure on rents..

One aspect healthy home standards don't address is overcrowding due to unaffordable rent prices

New Zealanders slow clap is getting to world class levels thanks to government policy announcements.

Basically they need to build more houses and/or reduce population growth to improve affordability and reduce prices, anything else is just rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic.

Capitalism, like democracy, is a terrible system, but its the fairest system we have. Regulated capitalism in democracies is necessary to prevent capital from using pricing monopolies to create the kind of unfair advantage over consumers that prevents consumers from being able to work towards improving their financial circumstances.

As long as anti-competitive behaviour can be stamped out, capitalism in its pure form is brutally efficient

What is NZ First's position on this? “These reforms deliver on the Coalition Government’s promise..." I gather this means NZ First has endorsed the package as part of the coalition?

Due diligence is going to become almost impossible if tribunal details are suppressed. The tribunal almost always finds in favor of the tenant. Years ago I had a prospective tenant who was a well to do woman with a good job. I paid for the background check anyway. After finding the prospective tenant had won a tribunal hearing against her I managed to contact the plaintiff who was also a well spoken, and reasonable woman. The plaintiffs account illustrated an atrocious disregard for property, and I certainly rejected the prospective tenant on that basis. With this law change a problematic tenant such as the one I mentioned would breeze through any due diligence checks.

So the tenant was found to be in the right by the tenancy tribunal? So if a tenant stands up for their rights under the tenancy laws you believe you should be allow to access this information and blacklist this person from attaining future tenancies? Sounds like this law is definitely required.

Likewise if a good landlord gets frivolous claims against them in the tribunal that turn out to be false, these should not be obtainable by the public either.

I find it amusing you believe the tribunal "almost always" finds in favour of the tenant. I suspect that is because so many landlords in NZ believe they have all sorts of rights, irrespective of whether those rights are actually legal.

It's pretty well known that the tribunal is tenant biased, and that's by design to offset the fact that landlords are in a position of power. It's quite possible, and perhaps commonplace, for a spiteful tenant to cause willful damage and get off scot-free at the tribunal. Full disclosure I'm a rentvester so I see things from both a landlord and tenant point of view.

The wife and friends always harp on about investing in property. I always say shares will do me. If you play your cards right you get a similar or better return and NONE of the hassle. This is just another reason to feel happy about that decision.
To those who want to see Mum and Dad landlords out of the market, I think you may be misguided. Large corporate landlords are sure to charge higher rents to cover their admin costs, and because, well, they can. There will also be no more little gems for a steal thanks to M and Ds not being clued up on what the market will bear.

Thing is, a business has to run at a profit which is going to be a big change to the way Mum and Dad's historically have got into a few rentals to negatively gear, make a capital gain and offset their tax contribution. Like it or not, this is real capitalism in action.

Good news...keep making it harder for landlords. Make NZ Great for home owners again. The growing renter voting population will support these changes. Time to get out chaps, dump your run down rental for a first home buyer to do up and go and invest in something productive.

This coalition government is totally destructive rather than constructive.
If these suggestions were a good idea I am wondering why they haven’t been enforced before now?
Reason being is that it is just more meddling in stuff by a socialist incompetent government that ever considers the consequences!
It is going to backfire on them.

Hopefully the consequence are we will go back to homes being owned by occupiers. People with a sense of community and pride where they live - you know, how it use to be before property became a plaything of the banksters and spongers of society. Landlording has caused more destruction and misery in our communities than any drug dealer ever did.

There are tens of thousands of fhb type units which cannot be bought by fhb because they are "investment flats" on one title. It would be a good thing if the govt allowed these properties to be separated without the owner then being classified as a developer. First home buyers would get a good property at a very reasonable price.

Home ownership is not all good. Makes mobility problematic - wasting time, money and increasing pressure on roads. It would be really useful for families to be able to move easily for better access to jobs, educational opportunities, medical issues or relationship breakdown, but owning a million dollar home means losing $30-50k in RE and moving costs (not to mention huge time cost of selling/buying) if you need to move. That is forcing us all to low density one-size-fits-all housing solutions as it is too expensive and disruptive to move. Overall far less money is wasted on accommodation by moving about, rather than owning something that is greatly over-specced for most of your life. Eg: young couple can be happily housed in a small apartment close to work. infant children want a small back yard, but an apartment maybe OK. Primary school children need good back yard, schools (not CBD!), perhaps access to outdoors amenities. Secondary school children, schools!! back yard probably less important. Children grown up - can downsize. Retired - moving to urban boundary or beyond is good.

I am wondering why they haven’t been enforced before now?

Perhaps because no prior government believed in regulating for a decent society.

Hi Rastus , which utopian planet are you currently residing on , because I would also like to apply for Permanent Residence there

Reading these comments gave me a good chuckle. Some of the landlords who comment here regularly are always telling us they have no shortage of good quality tenants to choose from because they are "great" landlords who offer good properties at a fair price.

.... and yet they are whipped into a frenzy about these minor changes. How can any of these changes make such a difference when you always get the cream of the crop tenants from offering such quality properties at a fair price?

Something doesn't add up.

I can imagine that even a good and diligent landlord ends up with a bad tenant from time to time. Maybe only a few percent of the time, but it probably still happens no matter how hard you try. Is that so hard to imagine Miguel?

Talk about Pavlovian. Any mention of tenants' rights immediately provokes howls of outrage from the usual suspects. Now, I don't profess to know whether the proposals need some adjustments, but I am absolutely certain that as home ownership declines and renting becomes a fact of life for many, the imbalance of power between landlords and tenants needs to be addressed and I am pleased that this government is doing so. It is equally clear that a National party government, stuffed full of multi-property owning landlords, would do nothing.
I write as a landlord-only 1 property-which I have had for almost 20 years. Landlords who raise the rent more than once a year are in my book, simply greedy b********s. Of course there are bad/appalling tenants and the system must allow for them to be dealt with and in a timely way, but I suspect that there are more substandard properties out there than bad tenants.

It's very interesting to see how some people turn into angry, frustrated, greedy pricks as soon as they become landlords. I've seen this happen to my father. He is an intelligent, rational person, but as soon as we start talking about tenancy he loses his mind.

Me and my partner don't have kids yet and I told my father we're lucky that we don't have kids because finding a rental would be much harder then. And he immediately went bonkers, explaining to us how kids literally destroy a property, f*** up the floor, the walls, the paint, the appliances, basically kids are the equivalent of a thermonuclear explosion. Says the person who raised 3 children without any of them ever doing any damage to a property. A few stains on the wall perhaps, but how much does that cost to fix? Walls should be repainted every few years anyway.

What on earth is a "good reason " to terminate a tenancy , pray do tell.

Thankfully , I dont have any houses in New Zealand other than the one I live in , and therefore dont have to deal with residential tenants .........and based on the information I have had over the years , anecdotally, as well as what some of out clients have had to deal with ........I thank God I dont have any.

I have heard and read of horror stories about tenants everything from failure to pay under their contractual obligations , to deliberately damaging the property to create evidence that the property was not habitable. Filling the bath with water are just letting it overflow for the weekend, in one case .

Unruly behaviuor , noise and disturbance , neglect and failure to keep the premises clean and tidy are common , and quite apart from non-payment which in some areas is endemic

One client of ours even had a tenant remove the Pink batts in the ceiling and foam insulation under the building floor in an older wooden home , and then call in the Auckland Council to make a report , all done to justify withholding nearly 9 months rent .

Luckily for our client , the nosey neighbour saw the Pink Batts being put in the wheely-bin over a 2 month period , and took a cellphone picture of it , because he thought it was odd that the Pink Batts were piled up in the wheely-bin and he had not noticed any new batts being installed .

Lawyers costs , eviction orders, tenants unable to pay the arrears and the costs , thereby ignoring the Tribunals findings and time wasted, cost the client more than the loss of rental

In the meantime our client fell in arrears on the Mortgage , and we had to produce a special set of accounts for his company and his personal position so he could have the tenants debts and his legal costs capitalized by the Bank , and obtain a further advance for repairs.

Now you have a Government openly having declared war on landlords ............ and landlords sell up and move on , the Government may be facing some unintended consequences

Who on earth would ever want to be a landlord of a residential property in new Zealand ?

A few non self interested remarks about why this is good for tenants?

Tenants will be able to plan ahead for 12 months instead of just 6 months.
At the moment if you find a place for $600 per week, you don't know if your rent will go up to a level you can't (or don't want to) pay 6 months from now. You might have to move again in 6 months, start the whole very stressful procedure again.
Changing this to 12 months means you will know for sure your rent will stay the same for the next 12 months and you won't have to find a new place.
Let's assume greedy landlords (even though I'm sure all the landlords here are very reasonable and operate what basically constitutes as a charity). If you tend to end up with greedy landlords, you need to move every 6 months now. The new law makes sure you can stay in the same house for at least 12 months. Very good and I don't understand why landlords are whining about it.

If a rent a place for 12months, i fix the rent for 12 month. Otherwise if the rent we agreed increases by 10% middle way through the tenancy, that is effectively a new tenancy agreement. Is this what is happening? that sound very odd to me. Offcourse if have a 6month fixed term, then I whatever price agreed is for that term. When the term expires there is a need for a new agreement. I am confused by what actually six monthly reviews of rent mean, are we talking about periodic rents? 6 monthly rents? 12 months fixed?

They are NOT whining about the change in fixed rent period, only the (1) so called " no cause" eviction notice, and (2) the extension of the termination period prior to sale notice from 42 to 63 days. The NZPIF has stated that there is ALWAYS a reason to evict, but it's often not prudent to disclose it for fear of retribution.
1. My fix would be the LL to state the reason, but under embargo to minimise retaliation, viewed only by the TT adjudicator.
2.The longer notice period is not ordinarily a biggy, except when selling, as that is twice the normal settlement period for house sales, which will screw up the sales chain of properties being sold. Someone in the chain will get caught out with lapsed finance agreements.
For me as a LL these are the only unreasonable changes, which could be mitigated if thought through better.

Maybe this new legal framework , which is an openly Maoist declaration of war on Landlords , will be just in time for the next election .........

Luckily we are not China , where Mao Ze Dong embarked on the mass killing or exiling of an estimated 10 to 15 million Landlords

It will be very interesting to see what "legitimate" reasons are for ending a tenancy

if I rent a property for a fixed 12 months, then I expect the price to be fixed for a 12 months period. Otherwise it is not really a fixed tenancy. Is it common practice for rents to be increased during a 12 months fixed contract? That does sound odd.
Also, if a landlord does not want to continue a fixed term lease and gives proper notice that they do not intend to renew the fixed term lease, will it have to be for a specific reason?

There are certainly some grumpy old buggers on this site this morning. One in particular has often pointed out to us in his usual ignorant manner that he prefers residential property investments to shares as you are in total control of residential property investing. Sheer ignorance on his part. Governments are consistently bringing in new laws and policies that affect landlords and this government just happens to be doing more than National ever did as this government has a heart. We boomers have done well out of the inflation that has occurred since the early 2000's. We have not been clever. We have been very lucky and we need to share it with those who were born after us and are not so fortunate.

I rented for a year when I arrived in Brisbane and the new proposed laws is very similar to existing renting regulations here in QLD. Here, renters are still renting and landlords are still happily providing their properties for renters..
So is the sky falling back in NZ???

Incorrect. The new law concerning ending a periodic tenancy is very different to existing Queensland law. See: https://tenantsqld.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Lessor-Ends-the-Ten...

Specifically: "You can be given a Notice to Leave without grounds (without reason) at the end of a fixed term tenancy agreement, or at any time during a periodic agreement. "

Later in the document, it says that the required notice on a periodic lease is in fact only 2 months, i.e. even less than the 90 days currently required in NZ.

"Tenants will be able to add minor fittings to their premises where the installation and removal of the fittings is low risk."

What is the purpose of this? We are renting out the family home of 15 years while I work abroad. I do not want to come home and find minor fittings have damaged our home.

In terms of the rental price changes? who cares.... I haven't put up the rent for 18 months cos we have great tenants... why would I feel the need to put that at risk.

I am very worried about this minor fittings proposal.... should I just leave the house empty? Hardly addressing the housing issue if that's how landlords respond.

I don't doubt there are some unscrupulous landlords out there... but it doesn't make sense to punish suppliers of housing when there is a housing shortage.... Im ok with increasing the penalties for unlawful landlords and increasing the protections for renters sure.... but makes no sense to attack law-abiding, tax paying landlords.

The biggest issues are going to be that everyone is going to be affected by this load of BS if you ever buy a house.
If a single house in the chain is rented it is going to affect the settlement dates, as they are all going to be pushed out by months.
Which part of this can you not see??

This seems like a fairly reasonable concern. My assumption was that it relates to things such as picture hooks and similarly minor changes. I feel that things like this should be allowed and should be considered similar to general wear and tear

Has anyone seen the detailed description of what is allowed?

"I am very worried about this minor fittings proposal.... should I just leave the house empty?"

Yes, if it bothers you that much. Feel free to forego the income it produces and pay both the NZ mortgage and overseas mortgage/rent from your income.

yea... leave it empty.... receive no income... but also pay no tax and in doing so remove a 4 bedroom home from the market currently housing 7 adults.

I am sure the minor fittings is just that however I would like to see how it is defined... otherwise there is a risk of the unintended consequence of reducing the available housing stock.

IRD hates this one simple trick to avoid paying taxes: stop earning any income.

Being told/regulated about what your allowed to do with your personally owned property over steps the freedom of democracy. Sure some on here like to see the boot being put into Landlords but for every action there is a reaction. Imagine being told what you're allowed to do with your private home, bach or perhaps car ??
There certainly will be a growing black rental market and a move away from permanent rentals to the likes of ABnB.
Naive thats my thoughts of our current government, it's confusing why they need to be so socialistic and punitive to Landlords other than to get votes from the rental voters ? I would imagine they already vote Labour ??

AirBnB is a good solution. You can avoid having to deal with pesky tenants that live in the house for years at a time and instead deal with completely new tenants every day, which you have to meet individually to hand over the keys. Then you also get to enjoy the fun of having to worry about all the furniture, the electricity, water, and internet, plus cleaning the house and washing the sheets.

Sorry, but its no longer your private home when you decide to rent it out as a business. Plenty of regulation on any other sort of rental business, just because you are renting houses instead of power tools or cars doesn't get you a pass.

Great for smart investors. Another crazy COL policy ensuring the supply of rentals continues to decrease and ensuring rents will increase. Muldoon tried some some these same policies in the 70's such as brightline tax tests and rental loss ringfencing and had to back pedal after a few years due to...? Rent pressures and supply reductions. How dumb are the COL repeating the same mistakes doh. But great for landlords and investors. I might get back into residential renting again, its getting too easy.

Yeah ........I am at a loss that this Government has done everything to stop investment in something as important as the supply of housing stock

In 1981, 60 per cent of people in the lowest wealth quintile aged 25-34 owned a house; now, the figure is just 20 per cent. All this is taking place against the background of low wages growth, increasing casualisation of the workforce, job insecurity, the precariousness of the gig economy, and the near-certainty of lower incomes

https://www.watoday.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/ok-boomer-re...

Well bw .............. you are not going to alleviate this "problem" of low levels of home ownership by removing/ reducing / discouraging investment in the stock of houses to rent .

We have had a massive surge in population from inward migration , and not built enough houses .

And wage growth has been more than inflation for most of the lower 50% of income brackets

This seals it, National gonna come back in 2020. Luxon the King. The Coalition of the Unwilling is dead.