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Officials tell Government there's a 'low' chance proposed rental property reforms will decrease the supply of rentals, while the effect it'll have on rents is 'uncertain'

Officials tell Government there's a 'low' chance proposed rental property reforms will decrease the supply of rentals, while the effect it'll have on rents is 'uncertain'

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MHUD) has warned the Government a proposed law change aimed at better protecting renters, could end up hurting them.

It said, in a regulatory impact statement on the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, that the proposed changes “may increase landlords’ business risks and impact on their profit margins”. 

This could affect their willingness to rent their properties out, leading to more stringent vetting of tenants and higher rents.

Consequently, more people at the margins could require government accommodation support.

Yet MHUD concluded: “The likelihood of rental supply contracting because of the proposed changes is considered low.

“The likelihood of the proposed changes resulting in rental increases is uncertain.

“There are a wide number of factors that affect rent, so it would be difficult to attribute any change in market rent to any once factor or elements of the tenancy reform package.

“Effects on rents may be muted by other factors that reduce costs of landlords such as, for example, lower interest rates.

“Increased housing supply because of the government’s build programme will in the medium to long term limit landlord’s ability to increase rents.”

The Bill passed its first reading in Parliament on February 20 and is now being considered by the Social Services and Community Select Committee.

What’s in the Bill

If passed in its current form, the Bill will mean:

  • Landlords can only end a periodic tenancy due to a reason stipulated in the law (IE anti-social behaviour by the tenant, an intention to sell the house or do major renovations). If the owner or their family intends to live in the house, they will have to do so for at least three months (currently the law doesn’t stipulate a timeframe around this).  
  • Fixed-term tenancy agreements won’t end at the end of the initial term unless specified grounds for this have been met (IE the landlord needs to sell the house, or the tenant has breached their obligations). If these grounds don’t apply, fixed-term agreements must be become periodic agreements unless both the tenant and the landlord agree otherwise.
  • Landlords will need to give 90 days’ notice to end periodic tenancies (as opposed to 42 days). If the house is needed for their family or employee, they can give 63 days’ notice.
  • Tenants will need to give 28 days’ notice to end periodic tenancies (as opposed to 21 days).
  • Tenants will be able to add minor fittings to their premises where the installation and removal of the fittings are low risk. For example, they can install shelving, curtains, child-proofing fittings, internal locks and accessibility fittings for people with disabilities.
  • The minimum period between rent increases will be raised from six months to 12 months.
  • Soliciting rental bids by advertising a property without a rental price for example, will be banned.
  • The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will have new compliance tools to take direct action against parties who are not meeting their obligations.
  • The existing civil and criminal penalties in the law will increase by between 50% and 80%.
  • The jurisdiction of the Tenancy Tribunal will be increased from $50,000 to $100,000 so the Tribunal doesn’t have to transfer as many cases to the District Court.
  • A party who is successful in the Tenancy Tribunal can have their identifying details removed from the Tribunal’s decision. 

Getting the right balance

MHUD said the risk landlords could lose income was partly offset by other parts of the Bill. For example, the requirement for tenants to give an extra week’s notice before ending a periodic tenancy, as well as new systems for dealing with anti-social tenants and tenants who don’t pay rent on time.

“However, we recognise that a consequence of limiting landlord’s ability to end periodic tenancies unilaterally and for any reason, will be that - in some instances - tenants remain in a property for longer than is desired by the landlord,” MHUD said.

Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi said: “We have been mindful of the need to modernise the law and correct problems in a way which is proportionate and places reasonable requirements on landlords and tenants which can provide both parties with certainty. These changes get that balance right…

“New Zealanders have already seen the removal of letting fees, and the introduction of Healthy Homes Standards to provide adequate insulation, heating and ventilation, which will require compliance from 1 July 2021.”

National and ACT opposed

Neither National nor ACT supported the Bill at its first reading.

National MP Dan Bidois coined the Bill “radical” and “unnecessary”, saying it would only pile on costs for landlords and renters.

Meanwhile ACT leader, David Seymour, said: “It’s beggars’ belief that, at a time when Kiwis are paying record rents, Labour is passing a law that will increase them even further.

“ACT says we need to change the law to free up land to bring its cost down, and make it easier to build houses. Only then will the next generation of New Zealanders be able to afford a stake in the future.”

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"Tenants will need to give 28 days’ notice to end periodic tenancies (as opposed to 21 days)."
Most tenants (I think) would prefer not to have to give the existing 21 day notice and often ask us to waive it or reduce it as they want to move straight away into their new digs. I haven't heard of this change to notice period until now, has the govt dropped this in so that can use it as a bargaining chip to appease their one eyed supporters. Looks likely they will inevitably go a bit easier on landlords than what's currently proposed.

If implemented as currently proposed, these changes will have profound unintended consequences for both landlords and good tenants. Every landlord should make a submission and join their local property investors association.

Will they listen, I think not but you are right, all landlords AND tenants should submit. The negative effects will be long lasting and take time to build so I think Jacinda and co will deny they caused it. There are quite a few commenters on both sides who are vocal about high rents being a very big problem for nz inc... this is gonna be Jacindas legacy imo

I am a landlord-what's the big deal?

Well if the proposals dont affect you or worry you then you are welcome to make a submission on that basis. I am saying that if (but probably when) the sht hits the fan the govt of jacinda and co will dodge the blame. Thats fine for the well overpaid prime minister but she will be remembered and labeled for encouraging and doing nothing about the exponential increase in rents

None of the proposals are going to make me put up my rent, what in there is going to make you put up yours?

The market as a whole will just keep going up, supply and demand matey. If not by annual rent increases then you lose your tenant eventually you meet the market

I agree the reasons for ending a periodic tenancy need to be clarified, but what right other than if the tenant is trashing the property or not paying rent, should I have to evict them? Notice going from 42 days to 90 days will have zero impact on supply. Tell me how any of the other proposals will have an impact on supply? Matey the landlords are going to exit the market and take their houses with them? I agree demand is going to increase but that has nada to do with these proposals

You clearly need to have a conversation with your local actuary. It is called pricing in risk. Enough landlords understand that there is a fiscal cost associated with having poor quality tenants “stuck” in the property to move the market. One obvious example is anti-social behaviour by a tenant that makes inspections difficult or dangerous that eventually leads to a missed or delayed inspection which then causes the landlord to be in breach of the terms of their insurance which could in turn result in the landlord having to pay out of pocket for damage to the property caused by the tenant.
Once you hit a critical mass of landlords who either price in the risk or perceive the new rules as essentially market signalling by the government (ie. it is safe to raise rents because everyone else will as well) the rest will follow simply because they base their pricing decisions on the market (which has prices set at the margins).

You clearly like to be condescending. So this risk just magically appears if this legislation passes? The only way you can argue that is if you are no longer able to remove tenants. In what situation would you like to remove your tenants and can currently, but wont be able to if the legislation passes as it currently stands?

The risk does not “appear” it is simply amended and my perception of the new form that it takes is that it will be more expensive. If my tenant acquires a partner with gang connections I can currently immediately issue a 90 day no cause termination. Under the new rules I must first wait until I have suffered a loss. I value not having to suffer any loss quite highly. I also value being able to proactively mitigate risks quite highly.

Simply put, it will be exceedingly difficult to evict problem tenants. Due to the increased risk and difficultly associated with managing a rental property landlords will get out of the market, thereby shifting the supply curve to the left and increasing rents in the long run. But this is only part of the problem - landlords will also become exceedingly selective and risk averse when choosing tenants, making it very difficult for any prospective tenant that isn’t perfect on paper to secure a rental.

MHUD said the risk landlords could lose income was partly offset by other parts of the Bill. For example, the requirement for tenants to give an extra week’s notice before ending a periodic tenancy, as well as new systems for dealing with anti-social tenants and tenants who don’t pay rent on time.

Key word there is partial. 1% mitigation would still count as partial mitigation. The devil is in the detail, I reckon that tenants should be required to give the same amount of notice as landlords for the risk to be mostly mitigated (assuming that landlords can issue no cause terminations). The removal of no cause terminations is phenomenally expensive from a cost of risk perspective (in my opinion).


Regardless of incoming legislation, rents will always be sure to rise so whats the point? Some of the increased risk that landlords will apparently be faced with is simply part and parcel of being in business. Figure it out or get out and sell your property to someone who is competant. The days of landlords having a cakewalk are over, time to smarten up. Has there been a worksafe prosecution over an unsafe rental yet? Thought of that sends shivers!


On the one hand we have this nonsense from Labour.
On the other hand we have Bridges wanting to loosen the Foreign Buyer Ban.
Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.

Not sure I agree with much of it, the changing automatically of fixed terms to periodic could prove problematic and not sure why it's there.
The one positive is that it may have a negative effect on people's view of housing as a investment, the sooner it's treated as a basic need rather than investment the better.

As a long term renter I'm a big fan of this. After having lived in a place for a year and paid around 20k in rent, I think I have proved myself to the point where a periodic rental is fair. It allows me the flexibility to make changes to my life without waiting for the end of the period, when everyone else is rolling off at the same time. That can be unnecessarily stressful, and also out of whack with whatever else is causing me to want to move (probably a new job or similar)

I think we are going to have even more vacant houses if this comes to pass.


Then perhaps a capital gains or a land tax would sort that pdq. Something has to be done to return housing to it's real purpose, providing homes for people. Our tenancy laws are outdated and were fit for purpose decades ago when renting was for the most part an interim thing people did between leaving home and marrying and starting a family. Most bought at quite a young age.
What is happening now really, really must stop.

Haha what's up with left wingers love of tax but not paying extra voluntarily themselves? Also most of them can't seem to see beyond their toe. Do you really think more taxes are going to fix all the problems without unintended consequences, which this government has delivered more of than their actual promises? Does interest rates, more QE, globalisation, emigration/immigration etc play any part in your world? Or just the feeling of punishing people who are more ambitious/better and the thought of more taxes = more benefits give you the warm fuzzies? :D

Taxes in this case aren't to raise revenue but rather to level the playing field with other forms of income. Or to disencentivise investors from treating peoples homes as commodities.

When life expectancy was in the 60s people bought in their 20s or 30s. To preserve that ratio now that life expectancy is in the 90s people should be expected to buy in their 30s or 40s.


Not surprising that as a result of many changes over the past few years there is likely to be some reaction by landlords.
While supporting the need for good landlords and healthy homes (just as I support the notion of fair businesses and products), it seems the the Labour Government has a naive “renters mentality” - simply legislating numerous additional financial and contractual requirements on landlords and not expecting those costs or conditions to impact on the tenant.


Dedicated rentals are needed so people can make a home, if we are to accept that many will never be in a position to buy,
I would rip our tenancy laws up and I would rewrite them in two parts, one part for dedicated rentals (they would be leases and long at that, similar to commercial tenancies) and the second part more along the lines of what we have for those who do not require long term rentals.
I would do everything humanly possible to return housing to the purpose for which it is designed, providing HOMES. Homes are places where there is stability, under our current laws there is no such thing and even the changes proposed go nowhere near addressing this important issue.
I truly despise what housing has become in this country, I did not like it when it began back in the 80s, when I was in Real Estate myself and watched it happening (I worked in rural sales so did not become involved in it all). I had very grave misgivings about it then and that sentiment has only grown as time has passed.

The world has changed markedly since the 1970s pocketaces. There are a lot less two parent households for a start, now each parent requires a house with rooms for the kids and in those days you also had large families living in small houses with kids in bunks and sharing bedrooms. That's not common now. Unfortunately you have a romanticized version of what things were. If the guvmint got off its fat arse and provided more homes or allowed those who want to build tenant type homes, to build them, that would increase the supply of rentals and a lot of the changes you expect would naturally come about. At least there has been a ruling about tiny houses not being caught by the building act..


The world's changed (for the worse) and guess what, it can change again

Rio de Janeiro slums here we come, yippee!!
My neighbour has made many tiny homes with... untreated timber....

Take a look at the beautiful caravans created and built by the gypsy caravan people and tell me that's not cool. People love to do their own thing without the bl**dy govt poking its nose in... it's great

I have nothing against providing greater stability for tenants, but there needs to be an easy way for landlords to deal with problematic tenants. If there isn't, they'll price the added risk into rents. It's really that simple.

One change I'd make in favour of tenants is to remove the 42 day notice option for the landlord. Currently that's available if the property is sold or if the landlord's family wants to move in. I'd scrap those exceptions and use the default 90 days notice for those situations.

There is the question of whether 90 days is long enough. I could see a case for making it a little longer. Maybe 100 or 120 days.

The one rent rise per year change is also good. It'd want to ensure that evicting tenants and advertising for a higher rent counts as a rent increase.

"Needs to be easy way to deal with problematic tenants.... maybe 120 days notice"
Increase the notice period that will surely help (sarc)

Yeah yeah.
Still infinitely easier than the proposed legislation to get rid of problematic tenants of course.

I see what you mean, yes I agree with you there HH

I think we need to make much, much longer tenancies the standard. As in, eight years. All furnishing to be tenants' responsibility. Pets allowed. Et cetera. The real costs of our unstable rental market is the damage down to children (having to move schools all the time) and the effect on work life of tenants who end up with expensive, stupid commutes.
This is the problem with having a rental market dominated by 'mum n dad'. They have to keep their one massive asset reasonably liquid, so shorter terms it is. It makes sense from their perspective, but from a renters' perspective, having a large corporate landlord would actually be better (they're better at adhering to legislation too, it's their job).

Agree. New long term leases from more commercially minded landlords with better quality properties give tenant long term security but allow the tenant also to give short notice if their circumstances change and they need to move, eg job relocation.

A lease is a legal contract so by giving one side an advantage unavailable to the other creates an unlevel playing field with consequences. As its most basic both parties want the same thing and that is certainty and the current collection of clowns have tipped the scales against the supplier which is likely to have unintended but entirely foreseeable consequences. I do wonder if the object of such legislation is to create a reason for left wing govts to become major landlords at the taxpayers expense and trap their tenants into long term or permanent rent slaves. Perhaps a future Govt with foresight will only subsidise state housing for say 5 years after which market rent applies.

Sounds good - lets make the leases like commercial leases. Long fixed term. Tenant pays outgoings, fit out costs and pays costs including water, rates, insurance, certain repairs and making good at the end of lease with rights of renewal and CPI increases.
I think we would have a change of attitude on both sides - tenants would realize what it costs to run a house and how poor value the rates are, and the cost of tenant repairs. Of course they couldn't leave because they changed their mind either - can't have it both ways. Landlords woudl have longer leases and some reduced risk due to some of the costs being paid by the tenant.
The problem still is the bad tenants, of which there are a lot. they will still trash the place and skip town. You can't get blood out of a stone and our legal system does not do justice.


we hear daily that renting houses are a business (from people that let them) to justify why they enjoyed the tax treatment they got over owner occupiers and now the government are starting to put in place some regulations to treat them as business and they now crying this is unfair.
every other business offering accommodation (except airb&B) hotels, motels, hostels, have a lot of business regulations they must adhere to ,example Fire safety procedure, so why should they be exempt.
after all you are paying for a service there should be a minimum standards

Those running commercial accommodation dont have to deal with the tenancy act. So if the motels that accept EH riffraff have to handle them with kid gloves or be hit with exemplary damages for making a mistake how fast will motels stop taking them.. Sure I will implement a fire safety procedure in my flats if I can dispense with other tenant laws.


The socialists just can't resist the chance to increase state power wherever and whenever they can, even if it is counter-productive for the groups they profess to "care about". No wonder the Ministry is conflicted, as there are still a lot of decent people working there.

MHUD is one of the key oligarchs of our state. Truth is an irrelevant delusion of the middle classes, according to Leninist thinking. The interests of the Ministry must come first. The End justifies the means, comrades.

How does the conflict between the power grabbing socialists and the decent people work out? Over time the decent people leave, and the organisation selects more "committed socialists" to replace them. It is a dangerous and slippery slope.

Socialists (grabbing and committed), state power, oligarchs, Leninist thinking, comrades.

You really padded that opinion.

Yes, sorry, my frustrations with the lack of progress and groupthink in NZ these days seem to have caused a bit of ranting on my part. I guess I wanted to counter some of the more subversive aspects of the fashionable ideas of our times. All these ideas come from the same place, and lead to bad places.

What's your alternative RW?

So Landlords have to give 90 days and tenants 28 that alone is unfair. So someone is going to monitor that I live in my house for 3 months if I choose to take it back ?. I see many unintended consequences like a black market developing, higher scrutiny on tenants making it more difficult for the most in need and a reduction in the available rental pool. Cause and effect like the brightline test put out to 5 years is holding alot of property off the market forcing prices higher !

The MHUD report takes a conservative stance and says it has NO IDEA if there will be any impact, how much impact and if any direct impact can be pinpointed. Like stepping out into the dark they would rather take the gamble and hope like hell.

You are absolutely right regarding unintended consequences.

One of the key things to note is that once a trouble tenant is in it will be exceedingly difficult to get them out, even if they aren’t meeting their obligations. The landlord would need to drag them through the tenancy tribunal, where the evidence requirements are often difficult to satisfy. For example, in the case of antisocial behaviour, neighbours would need to testify, and you would need evidence of a certain number of antisocial incidents within a certain timeframe.

Arguably part of the current housing crisis is unintended consequences of laws that have given such an easy ride as to encourage money into property speculation instead of productive business. Or, considering the portfolios of many MPs, intended.

Silly buggers. If you want lots more better quality rental accomodation you just need to make it more profitable. Duh.

Sounds great Roger, but not always so. Dunedin has some of the most in demand rentals returning some of the highest yields in NZ. But check out the quality of the housing stock! And arguably Dunedin landlords are real investors as opposed to speculators who just want favourable regulation, to fund a property long enough to get past the bright line test and then bank the tax free capital gain!


When tenants don't earn enough, Government steps in with over a Billion Dollars of Accommodation Supplement. Free Market at it best.

Its socialism, not even close to free market.

$1.5 billion of taxpayers money is given to Landlords. Joyce added the $0.5billion in the 2017 budget. Landlords business model is well subsidised. Landlords shouldn't be whinging about a few reasonable regulations.

Are you expecting that figure to grow as rents rise following this legislation being enacted Brendon

Not really. Most places renters/landlords are getting the maximum the scheme gives for that area. It only ever provides a very short term relief. Then rent rises diminish the benefit and landlords get the subsidy.
NB A $1.5bn per year housing assistance scheme to the community housing sector could build 10,000 houses a year where half the houses get capital grants of $180,000 per home and the other houses get $100,000.

Indeed, they're already beneficiaries receiving the benefit of these subsidies. Nothing wrong with expecting a bit of professionalism in turn.

Not all landlords have tenants who receive these subsidies. Perhaps only landlords who accept tenants who are on the accomodation supplement should lose the right to “No cause evictions”. My gut tells me that those on the accomodation supplement will end up needing to pay a premium that is quite possibly larger than the supplement itself.

As National's own commissioned analysis noted, however, the rising tide of these benefits lifts all the landlords'boats. They're all benefiting from the welfare.

Well, no, what we want is lots more affordable housing for people to buy and own and call home, so that there is not so much need for landleec...oops I mean landlords. It is a truly horrible culture this rentier one.

When you say affordable housing for people, I assume you're referring to ALL people

Ideally, of course, but given even I know that's an impossible thing, so definitely for most and for those for whom it is unaffordable to buy them clearly affordable rental options are needed. I would prefer the state provide much of that as the state subsidizing private landlords is just plain wrong

Can I reply to all the outrage, sorry, concerned responses, in one go:

1 My short summary was to highlight the essence of the solution.
2 Dunedin, clearly the system is not working. Try reducing planning restrictions and delays immediately and dramatically. Cancel GST on building work for a trial period of three years. Allow 100% amortisation of all earthquake strengthening work.
3 Clearly the system is not working, so try something else. I know, try making it more profitable to build and provide high quality accomodation.
4 Clearly the system is not working, so put interest rates up slowly and give generous depreciation allowances, or better still, if you actually really do want results, allow 100% amortisation of all building costs as incurred. Shift the cost to the public purse from benefits and increasing dependency to tax concessions for the providers of results. These can be temporary.
5 The socialists want more dependents as it means more people under their control, so these ideas are poisonous to them.
6 The Leninist purposefully seeks to pervert the natural goodwill of decent people to increase the power of the state over the populace.
7 You can help people without encouraging dependency.
8 It is a good and decent thing to help those around you, and should be encouraged not perverted.
9 If the politicians and bureaucrats wanted to fix this mess, it would not have happened in the first place. They do not, as it is against their self interest to do so.
10 Politicians and bureaucrats like crises as each crisis allows them to expand their control over the populace.
11 The thought process of people who actually get things done is completely different from the thought process of large bureaucratic organisations, where career risk is everything.
12 Above all else, beware of those who seek to manipulate and control others against their will. These people are in all walks of life, but a love of authoritarian solutions is a telltale sign, they love telling people what they should do. The word should is a red flag.
13 Read George Orwell's 1984. It is extraordinarily accurate. How did he foresee flat screen TVs that listened to you?

Personally, I'm too thin skinned and not cunning enough to be a politician. I do know that some people are better at getting things done than others. Some people are "all hat and no cattle", as the Texans put it; they are great at talk, but completely hopeless at getting anything done. As they say, or used to anyway, "Those as can, do. Those as can't, teach." Some people are great at bringing people together and others seek to divide and conquer, encouraging resentment and blame in all around them. Great things are achieved when capital and labour work nicely together. Division leads to dissolution and despair.

Hope that helps.

Obviously there are good landlords and there are good tenants, and there are the bad counterparts. If you have the two goods together then problems are unlikely to arise. Any other combination though, and it is likely to be the opposite. No government legislation will change that, it’s simply the usual interface that goes on in society everyday every issue.

Yes, hopefully the pendulum will start swinging it's way back to sanity and good sense and genuine cooperation in solving real issues. I guess my frustration and rant was based on the wholesale adoption of the appalling failed ideas of the past, but as they used to say, "the darkest hour comes before the dawn".

I have never so many homeless people in Nelson. My neighbour had a quote for repairing his letterbox after someone reversed into it, one of those brick and plaster jobs that were all the rage a few years back. $2000 for a bit of cement, an hours work, some plaster and some paint. NZ has gone bonkers.

Hi roger suggest to your neighbour to look up a youtube instructional video, as you say a relatively simple and quick job. Good, well priced contractors are hard to come by.

Tell me about it. If you find yourself at the end of one of the many widespread & far reaching tentacles of the Fletcher outfit you are likely going to have problems. They and the trade(s) back each other come hell and high water. You the customer have no ability to seek let alone get redress. The attitude is like it or lump it, see you in court then. Corporate NZ. It sucks.

What's your experience with the company (we will leave unnamed) Foxglove

Three of their outfits actually. Complete avoidance and/or non accountability re the plans and the specifications for their products attached to the building consent and refusal to provide any meaningful support when the breaches by the builder have been exposed. Unbridled delaying tactics and responses to questions that are deliberately useless.

Yes that's how markets work. To make cars cheaper let's do away with WOFs. We can make food safer by removing hygiene requirements. Buildings can be cheaper by getting rid of the building code. Leaky buildings was just a myth socialists talk about to scare the punters....

These changes are fundamentally different to the healthy homes legislation though. This the equivalent of mandating that when you hire a rental car you are entitled to keep it as long as you want.

It is very similar to some long term commercial leases

Yes, and similar to mandating that when you hire a rental car you are entitled to keep it as long as you want. This is one of the reasons commercial property is a riskier proposition. This risk is reflected in the fact that it is much more difficult to get a loan for commercial property in comparison to residential. Even when a landlord sells, the tenant has the right to stay. Commercial contracts are a totally different ballgame and most residential landlords wouldn’t dream of getting into commercial property for this reason. If similar provisions were applied to residential property many landlords would exit the market.

Yes, and renters would be *much better* served if rental housing were run more like commercial property.
The prevalence of small investors in our housing market is a bug, a drawback, a structural defect, not something to celebrate (unless it's your business to sell mortgages).

Doesn't seem like a bug to me. As a renter I had several great experiences renting from small investers.

The prevalence of small investors is perfectly fine.

Renters won’t feel better served when they can’t find accommodation because landlords are very selective/risk averse on account of knowing that if they end up with a problem tenant they are stuck with them for good.

I am not asking to do away with the building code it is important to have quality buildings although we are sometimes over-engineering. We should relax the RMA and the push that says 'we couldn't have those houses here, they wont fit with our area' aka NIMBYS. Only in very limited cases should that happen imo

Yes that is where deregulation should be targeted

Nope. That's a false hope. As per Auckland additional development rights get capitalised into the land.
The longer we perpetuate the neo-liberal myth of planning deregulation to solve the housing crisis, the longer we will have a crisis.
The solution is pretty simple. The government needs to build a lot more housing.

"The solution is pretty simple. The government needs to build a lot more housing."
Simple in theory. Govt housing hasnt worked despite the hype and promises. The Urban Development bill wont change that because FHB dont want to be in housing developments mixed with social housing or in far flung suburbs. We have some good sites we cant develop properly or at all due to council district plan regulations Yes the sites would go up in value but that is because they are currently undervalued. In Hamilton the district plan in 1970s was a thin A5 sized booklet. The current district plan is a four inch thick and heavy A4 folder. It has got ridiculous where one rule, /, contradicts another, \, you're left with X

Govt housing hasnt worked despite the hype and promises.

Actually, it has in the past. Just needs to be done, not talked about. It was a big factor in the older folk of today being able to afford housing.

Additional development rights ONLY get capitalized into the land, IF the land is restricted.

There is a greater chance of land being restricted with further GOVT. control.

It's not planning deregulation that it the issue, it's about planning to allow supply to meet demand, however, that demand is created eg laisse-a-faire or Govt immigration policy etc.


All of the guidelines featured in this bill are fairly standard in most Western countries and that has not had any detrimental effect on Landlords being willing and able to let out their properties. So the bill is fine and shows good modern standards.

Having been a Landlord in Europe, it always fascinated me how NZ Landlords got way with so much in their favor. It's time to modernize.

They're not standard in Australia or the USA (California at least).

Not in the UK either. It would appear CJ099 is talking rubbish.

DD, Your ignorance is astounding. It just goes to show how the Tenancy Laws in NZ really need to be modernized to protect Tenants from ignorant and uneducated Landlords like you. Everyone know that tenancy laws in Europe are far more modern and are generally balanced for both Tenants and Landlords. Though in areas like Germany, Tenant rights are very well protected due to them usually being very long term tenancies.

Germany Tenancy Rules:
UK Tenancy Rules:

Did you even bother to read the UK link that you posted? You’ve just proved my point. “You can ask the tenant to vacate by giving 2 months’ notice. This option offers flexibility but less security [than fixed term].“

That German link says that tenants and landlords both need to give 3 months notice but whilst tenants don’t need a reason a landlord needs to declare that they want the property for personal use or show that the tenant has been late with their rent in order to terminate the tenancy?
That doesn’t sound too bad. Equal notice from both parties and if I really want someone out I have to stay at the property / use it for personal storage for a bit.

because the people that pass the laws also have taken advantage of the system.
so its like the fox voting to make the chicken coup more secure
Colourful National MP Bob "The Builder" Clarkson has nine houses. So does exiled Labour MP Taito Phillip Field. Helen Clark, is a wee way behind with five while Winston Peters has only two - neither in the electorate where he hopes to be the next sitting MP.
The Register of Pecuniary Interests for MPs was tabled in Parliament last week and gives an intriguing insight into how the country's 121 MPs choose to invest their money.
Despite the volatility of the housing market, the numbers still show property remains the investment choice of many MPs - but when it comes to things such as superannuation and banking for many it's a case of "do as I say and not as I do".


What or the alternatives?

Take a look at Wellingtons rental market fight/zone.

Also What happens in the now patchwork rentals. Where a landlord is renting a property, basis a single room and shared cooking/living areas to each room occupied.

More stringent vetting of tenants” is an understatement.

There is no doubt in my mind that any prospective tenant that isn’t perfect on paper will find it difficult to secure a rental. What sane landlord would take a risk on a tenant when they know that if things don’t work out they will likely be stuck with that tenant indefinitely? Despite our meaningless discrimination laws, anyone that is young, or without perfect references, or a first time renter, or without full time employment, or with pets, or wanting flatmates, or that comes across rough around the edges etc is in for a really tough time.

The burden of evidence required at the Tribunal is onerous, not to mention the stress and time commitment.

Also, in the long run, these changes will certainly shift the rental supply curve to the left of where it would have otherwise been, thereby increasing rents by even more.

If you think it's bad now, wait till the down turn hits. Jacinda will have some great brain stoms.

Exactly. Times are rosy at the moment. And they tell us that child "poverty" is a huge problem. Well that's nothing to what it may become...

You could be right KezzaR, During the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, in Europe especially in the UK. When people couldn't sell their properties and need to relocate, they had to rent them out instead and were known as "Reluctant Landlords". This put downward pressure on the property rental market and helped to reduce rents along with property prices.

Here's a link that explains in more detail:


Just a few notes on my past experiences.
Bought my first house in 1967, aged 19, in what was then a nice South Auckland suburb. It cost me $11,500 (we had just changed to decimal currency). I hadn't even a proper full-time job at that stage. I had saved up the $3,500 deposit by doing an evening paper-run for 5 years while at high school and collecting the monthly monies due from subscribers on Saturday mornings for mine and other kids' paper runs. I took out a solicitor's mortgage for the balance. (solicitors' mortgages were readily available those days, until too many solicitors starting embezzling clients' funds.)
Today's young people might protest that in those days things were different. Not so! At the time my peers were equally amazed that I could buy a house at such a young age without even a full-time job. It was just as unusual those days for such a young person to save up a deposit to enable them to buy a house. The thing that differentiated me from others was that I was a saver. And I didn't deprive myself of all entertainment.

I rented the house out to cover the mortgage payments. All went well until some years later when I did have a job I left my job to 'do-up' the house full-time when my original tenants gave notice. I spent a few months working hard and then I re-let the house and went overseas for a few months. When I returned I discovered the house had been trashed....not deliberately but by the three completely unsupervised kids. Everything was damaged and I had to set about re- 'doing-up' the whole inside of the house before I could rent it again.
This experience has put me off forever being a landlord.
As it turns out I have an empty home unit at the present time (since August 2019) which I bought for my semi-disabled sister in 2006. It was in relatively good condition but to keep up general maintenance I have had to spend probably about $70,000. My sister had a set-back in her health and now lives with me and it doesn't look like she'll be returning to the unit. So it has been left empty for over 6 months. I don't know whether to sell or not. I'm quite willing to sit on it rather than let the banks (whom I'm losing trust in) have it. Also, I still don't trust tenants due to my past experience. So an empty house seems the safest way to go....still increasing in value while not having to worry about tenants. If the government wants me to rent it out I would want a gilt-edged government undertaking to cover me for every single cent's worth of damage caused by the tenant and also an amount as compensation for the worry caused.


This is an excellent case study as to why these law changes would be disastrous. These changes will increase risk for landlords ten fold, so we will see more landlords exiting the market or leaving properties vacant to avoid the nightmare of being stuck with bad tenants.

Or cranking up rents to cover the additional risk.

Why not make it a condition of the rental contract that the tenant maintains contents insurance with liability cover? Proof of such insurance to be provided before the tenancy commences and every year thereafter.

We once had damage to a hardwood floor in a rental, and the tenants insurance company paid the costs to (re)sand/polish it. Their ins company did try to refuse the claim (even though they admitted liability), but we took it to small claims court and the insurance coy had to cough up.

Wouldn't that come under fair wear and tear Kate. As for tenants getting insurance there are people who dont insure their cars, something they own

Nah. They were only there for a year and admitted to it having been caused by castors on their furniture. When they discovered the damage, they got protective 'feet' for the castors, but failed to tell the agent about it, and she failed to pick it up in the final inspection. I think there had to be something more than just castors though - as the damage was pretty widespread. Skates maybe?

Yes, well if the tenants don't get their own insurance, then they don't rent the property.

I have my own insurance. And lots of damage is difficult to claim for if it can be argued as wear and tear. What happens when the tenant terrorises the neighbours, takes days to reply to emails, seldom returns calls, apparently people coming and going from the property at all hours of the day and night, calls me a c*nt when I do inspections? I live in the real world - gathering sufficient evidence to successfully terminate the agreement through the Tribunal would be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.

Has your mobile got a camera? Video the testimonials by the neighbours; video the tenant swearing at you; stake out the property one night and record all the plates numbers on the cars, and the times of arrival and departure of the other folks coming and going.

Good, solid evidence stands up in any Tribunal. I've done advocacy work in that area. It just requires proper documentation which takes thought and time to collect.

"stake out the property one night"
Do you charge lots of advocacy fees, can humble landlords afford it. Feral type tenants will go nuts if they catch the LL spying on them. They could probably claim harassment and get exemplary compensation for interference by the landlord. I personally dont want to be stressed in a living nightmare trying to evict tenants through the biased tenancy tribunal. It's much easier not letting them in, or leaving the house vacant until a quiet and responsible tenant comes along. We dont provide homes for any Tom Dick and Harry

I’ll refer you to the last sentence of my previous comment.

Stake out the property at night? I live in a totally different part of the country. And anyway do you not think that sitting in a car all night is a bit of a big ask? And perhaps dangerous, particularly for female landlords?

Video him abusing me? “Excuse me Mr Tenant, can you please repeat the part where you called me a c*nt, I wasn’t recording the first time”.

Me: Excuse me Mr neighbour, can I fly down to video you testifying against your scary neighbour that has been intimidating you?
Neighbour: No, I’m too scared as he has been intimidating me. Duh.

Honestly Kate, it would be easier to get them out by technically moving in yourself for 3 months or doing a bathroom renovation, which landlords shouldn’t be forced to resort to.

You need to get out of this type of business then as it's not a good investment for you. Good business owners don't make excuses for why it's so tough and they can't make it work - instead they sell up. Sell up - save yourself the moaning and the hassle.

What I’ll do is be exceedingly selective when choosing tenants. Anyone not perfect on paper will be out of luck, which is quite sad for those people that I would’ve otherwise given the benefit of the doubt. This is a risk highlighted in the regulatory impact statement. Of course some landlords will exit the market. This will shift the supply curve to the left and increase rental prices.

The occupancy rate for owner occupied housing is lower than it is for rentals, so every time a rental is sold to an owner occupier there is a net reduction in the number of available rental properties per renter.

Yes, that all sounds sensible. And the good thing is the tenants you do choose will have a greater sense of ongoing security of tenure.

Last point is a really good one - are there links to actual statistics in that regard? I'm teaching a course this year to grad students and that would be a really good bit of information for planners. I've not come across that documented/measured anywhere to date - though must admit, haven't actually searched for it yet.

Googled it. Turns out the head of the Property Investors Fed said this;

“An average 2.1 people live in owner-occupied housing in New Zealand, but there is an average 3.9 people per rental property. Every time a rental property is sold to an owner-occupier, on average 1.8 tenants still need a home to rent. “

But he did not reference his sources. So a guy wrote to StatsNZ asking the question - and here was their response:

“Data from the 2013 Census shows that an average of 2.6 people lived in housing that was owned by the household or the household held in a family trust, and an average of 2.8 people lived in rented housing. Based on these 2013 Census figures, every time a rental property is sold to an owner-occupier, on average 0.2 tenants still need a home to rent.”

Still keen to know where you got the impression you did. Perhaps the more recent census tells another story.

Evidently you can’t emphasise with the prospective tenants that will face higher rents and struggle to find accommodation as a result of these changes. Nor the landlords that get stuck with nightmare tenants.

Good tenants are sought after and aren’t asked to leave for no reason under the current law. The practical implications on their tenure are nought.

I think the figures you quote from Andrew King may be for Auckland, but I trust his word more than your blogger. Or perhaps his figures aren’t based on the 2013 census, which is actually quite out of date now. It’s not just Andrew King that has identified this - it is mentioned in other Regulatory Impact Statements.

This is from the Healthy Homes Regulatory Impact Statement -
Each sale of a rental property to a new owner-occupier removes a property from the rental market. Transferring houses from rentals to owner-occupied housing may lead to a demand for more houses to accommodate the same number of people because the average, owner occupied housing has fewer people per property than rental housing.

Trust StatsNZ over all of them (that is where the blogger went to directly after reading Andrew's article).

The HH RIS doesn't quantify the statement - so I'll go with StatsNZ, a .2 of a person difference.

Sure, Andrew was likely talking about a very small sample survey of their AKL South members (i.e., a place where over-crowding is well understood). He gathered stats in a manner to counter the tougher tenancy laws sentiment at the time. The Spinoff (where his first article appeared) was doing a weekly series called "Rent Week". All the articles are here;

As you can see, the majority of authors were putting cases forward for the regulatory changes we have just seen implemented.

Well your blogger, Stats NZ (supposedly, according to your blogger), MHUD, Andrew King and myself all happily agree that on average there is a net reduction in available rentals per renter when rentals are sold to owner-occupiers. Consensus. Andrew King’s article aside, you’d be better informed if you stayed away from the spinoff.

Or landlords leave the properties vacant as a store of wealth / inflation hedge. Possibly listing it on Air bnb for 30/60/90 days in the year to avoid it acquiring any potential vacant status under the next iteration of tenancy laws that springs up to combat homes being left vacant.

Unfortunately these changes will lead more landlords to go down this route.


How many properties will be left empty, really? Only feasible if you have NO mortgage on the place and high confidence in capital gains sufficient to cover rates etc. Unless you’re a money launderer, you’d just sell the place.

Exactly, and the next line they'll trot out is that they'll turn it into an AirBnB. How many homes can AirBnB soak up in Mt Roskill, Mangere, Weymouth etc. before the market is saturated? The per night rate might be better, but lower occupancy, and actually having to manage more than one or two inspections a year, oh, and having to throw $40k at it to raise it from average rental spec to clean and tidy AirBnB spec to start with.

AirBnB is interesting. So many ads for properties these days advertise the BnB potential and/or that it has an existing use (or part use) as a BnB. But if you request to see the books on that business enterprise - there are none because (I assume) it is never profitable enough to justify the purchase price.

A relative has a bnb unit in Owairaka Auckland. Tasteful and not underpriced. They have constant demand, and some longer stay visitors who then mostly look after themselves for cleaning

Yes, it probably turns a profit if one purchased at the right price - but at today's prices, not really good business. Do they run it as a business, i.e., GST registered, tax returns, etc? I think AKL Council is one of those that charges a residential commercial rate on known short-term rental businesses.

I dont know but you really kill the vibe of any discussion kate straining the tea until its totally tasteless.

Just asking a legit question as never encountered a short term rental property that turns a profit based on the price being asked. Which makes me assume, all the existing owner/operators are trying to sell it based on potential capital gains as opposed to business/rental income.

Buyers will make those obvious assessments of roi based on their own circumstances that is simple enough Kate. The significant point is that Airbnb properties are doing nicely despite your pooh poohing the whole idea.

"Today's young people might protest that in those days things were different."

Yeah, probably because they were. If we believe you, you worked a 2 hour a day (or thereabouts) unskilled job for 5 years to save a third of the price of a house in Auckland.
12 hours x 52weeks x 5 years = Edit: 3120 hours

Dec 19 lower quartile price in Auckland from Interests affordability report was $692k. A third of that is $230k and change. Divide that by 3120 hours and your part time unskilled job would have to pay.. $73/hr. After tax. Or $96/hr before tax.
If we assume that you worked a mighty 15hours a week that is 3900hrs over 5 years, or $59/hr after tax for an unskilled part time job.

Yep, totally realistic, nothing has changed at all. (Whoops, had the hours numbers wrong, now corrected)

Nice maths :-).

My 14 year old grandson does a paper/pamphlets run 3 times a week and takes home $80 a month. He'll have $4,800 after 5 years (when he's 19).

Totally sick of boomers trotting out the "it was hard in my day" bullshit.

"we had to dress up to see the bank manager" whoop dee f*n doo!
" we had to have a savings record" Yeah, cos saving $140k for a 20% deposit on that lower quartile Auckland place isn't a savings record..
"..interest rates were 18%."

Hmmm, 18% on a mortgage equivalent to two years income on a 20 year term is still only 2/3rds the payment on an actual Auckland FHB 30 year mortgage at <4% interest rates.

Seriously, some boomers need to pull their heads out of their asses and crawl out of their echo chambers into the real world.

Yeah, I get sick of it too and I'm a boomer - and I know my young adult life was much, much easier and less complicated.

I was definitely entrepreneurial in the sense that I made a bob wherever I could, not just with the 'Auckland Star' paper round and collecting the payments from the the people I delivered to as well as other kids' rounds. I also mowed the lawns now and again for neighbours. In standard 6 the boys made a wooden shoe shine box and I put a tin each of black and brown nugget and a few brushes and a cloth and went round the neighborhood shining shoes until I ran out of shoes to shine. My father used to pay me to clean his car inside and out. I not only washed the car but cut and polished the paintwork for which he paid extra. My uncle had a plumbers workshop next door and would throw all the lead and copper off-cuts in a heap outside. He told me I could help myself so I did and when I had accumulated a sizable amount I sold them to the scrap metal dealer. Occasionally, I would catch eels in the creek and sell them to the local Maoris. I scavenged glass soft drink bottles and when I had amassed a dozen I would cash them in at the local dairy. When we went down to Huntly to where my mother's parents had a sort of mini-department store I would beg to be allowed to visit the shop which had several counters with slightly raised wooden floors, with gaps between the floorboards, for the staff to stand on. Inevitably some coins would fall on to the floor and slip through the cracks where fingers couldn't reach them. I developed a nifty method of retrieving them using a couple of knife blades and I was allowed to keep those that I retrieved. From about the age of 12 years right through to the end of high school I was always offered holiday jobs; However, I was usually pretty useless at these jobs and was never asked back a second time except to the freezing works in my last two years at school. All these things added to my savings.

Streetwise, you still miss the point. By age 19, you saved up more than 1/3 the price of a first home ($11,500 you paid for the home; having earned a $3,500 deposit).

These days, 1/3 of a $350,000 home (if there is such a thing in the suburb you bought in!) equals $116,666. Do you actually think any industrious, law abiding 19 year old could manage to save such an amount today?

Yes, I do know a couple of enterprising young men around that age who work long hours (in the trades) and have in one case bought a house and in the other case could afford to buy if he wanted to at this point in time.
It is my opinion, based on a lifetime's observation and experience, that it is possible for a (very) young person to get ahead financially. But I guess you have to have the right mindset and a burning desire to achieve it.
I've always had that desire and I've done pretty well. In those early days there were only two other boys in my era who had that burning desire: one built the firm Hynds Pipes from scratch and employs over 600 people in NZ and Australia and must own half the land in industrial East Tamaki.....he started out building retaining wall blocks in a concrete mixer in his backyard in Papakura; the other started, with a business partner, a major NZ travel chain. Neither was academically gifted.
The advice given to young people today is to achieve academically, or (only in recent times) to enter a trade. This is good advice for the 99% but there is the other 1% who have the desire (and gift ?) to be entrepreneurs. And I think it shows itself at a young age.

I have heard many stories about Hynds from the people at Humes concrete pipes. He was one of their pipe production managers until he left taking their IP and using it to go into competition. Not the sort of person I would be glorifying using half-stories, he certainly did not create the company himself from scratch

Oh yes he did! You say you have heard "stories" and that says it all. He eventually bought retaining-wall concrete blocks' moulds from Stevensons and that was his first major step up.

I'm simply amazed by all the negative comments about my early enterprise. I can give you an earlier example: when at primary school around about standard 5 we used to play marbles on the school's loose-metal-chipped main driveway. Marbles were the school kids currency of the day. I was sick of losing more marbles than I won so one weekend I took a 12 inch by 18 inch piece of timber about an inch thick and randomly drilled a few holes over it and enclosed the perimeter with some panel pins leaving an open neck at the top; I also placed a curve of panel pins under each of about the nine holes I had drilled each hole large enough to accommodate a marble. On a Sunday afternoon I experimented with the board on a slope and rolling my marbles down from the open neck at the top; I took note of which holes the most marbles went into and painted an L for loss below that hole i.e. the player lost his marble, and I identified the holes the marbles rolled into least and I labelled those W for a win, the player won a marble. I remember painting the rest of the board with some old yellow paint. I then took it to school and at playtimes I took it out to the metal drive and sat on a low bench with my board between my legs sloping downward to the driveway and soon there was noboby playing marbles; they were playing my marble 'pin ball' board. At the end of the week I had accumulated about 7 full bags of marbles which I stored under my desk lid.
Unfortunately, the parents started complaining to the headmaster that my 'marble board' had cleaned their child out of marbles and I was told to take it home and not bring it back. It created a bit of embarrassment for my father who was a teacher at the school. In standard 1 my then teacher had mentioned to my father that I was shrewd but to this day I still don't know how he came to this conclusion; but he did lay into me with the strap.
But the 'marble board' venture does demonstrate my entrepreneurial ability.....I was always thinking outs.ide the square.

I don't want you to think I'm negative about your youthful resourcefulness. Not at all. Good on you.

What I'm just saying is those opportunities are not there for my grandkids.

For example, one of our best friends in the neighbourhood is the local Mr Green franchisee. He's got four young children to feed and a big mortgage on his first home. We'd hardly want to encourage our teenage grandson to go door knocking offering to mow lawns for a few bucks in the neighbourhood, and thus take business away from him. He has lawn quotas to meet in order to keep his franchise licence. The real profit for him isn't in mowing lawns, but in the additional tree work, scrub cutting, landscaping etc. that comes through because of the franchise mowing contracts.

Another example from your past - shoe-shining went out with quality leather shoes and there are no bottle deposit schemes. Do you see where I'm coming from? It's just not that easy to earn pocket money these days. And many of the things kids used to do to earn pocket money are now done by people who have kids to feed.

You are proving my point, streetwise. You've gone from I saved my deposit by shining shoes, mowing lawns, selling scrap metal and delivering newspapers when I was a school kid on a part time basis - to young folks can still do the same by (first) learning a trade and then working long hours full time. And I doubt either of your two current examples of young people buying are/were 19 years of age with a 33% deposit at the time of purchase.

The modern equivalent would be mining bitcoin, picking up tasks on fiver, juicing e-scooters, driving an Uber (from 18), making useful apps, etc.
a teen mining a bitcoin a week in 2017 and cashing them all in to buy a house in December 2017 would have had enough money to buy a median priced house outright and still have some left over! Just because the same jobs do not pay the same rates does not mean that the opportunities no longer exist.

Are you serious? Yeah, let's get all our pre-teens and teens spending hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours mining bitcoin. Forget school / learning / reading / playing with friends - mine, nippers, mine!

From a single miner’s perspective, it is very hard to say how much it will take for you to mine 1 BTC because the variables of hash power, difficulty and the quality of your equipment are always changing.

But a good idea you can get for mining 1 BTC at a hash power of 120000.0 GH/s is 1 year. It will take 1 year for you to mine 1 BTC at this rate and power as shown in the below stats.

It was easier in 2017. From memory the Hash complexity is amended based on the mining power available so that a constant number of coins is issued every year.
App writing, graphic design and website development are probably the modern equivalent of the paper run/ show shining. You could even design a game that harvested computing power whilst users played it (with full disclosure of course) and used that to mine bitcoin.

looks like a case of urine extraction by streetwise.

Obviously the numbers are going to be different for each generation, but I think the principle remains the same - there are many ways to achieve your goal. I am a future FHB, and I am patiently building my savings up for a deposit, but I am always thinking of ways to try and build this up faster.

And you're getting what, 2-3% on your savings? We boomers got no less than 10%.

What we do have today is Kiwisaver, where "returns" are effectively boosted by employer contributions.

Yes, thank goodness for the 5th Labour Government.

$11,500 in 1967 bought a good home not a first home. The home we bought in the 90s was transacted in 1973 for $7200 and a year later for 9000. That was waterview auckland. My parents bought a house brand new in 1965 for £4000 ($8000). They were adults with FT jobs. I am struggling with your figures

The house itself would have been relatively fairly low cost when it was built in the 1920s. But it was on a good-sized 1/4 acre flattish section on the Great South Road near the main shopping centre in Manurewa. The zoning had been recently upgraded to high-density so it was great buying for $11,500 at the time. You must remember that up until 1970 Manurewa was considered a very desirable suburb; in fact as a boy in the 1950's ( we lived further north on the Great South Road ) people used to take a Sunday drive out from the central Auckland suburbs just to view the front yard flower garden displays of proud house owners along the Great South Rd in Manurewa. The likes of the wealthy merchants of the 1920s such as the Nathans, and English aristocrat The Countess of Orford choose Manurewa to build their estates in the 1920s.
By comparison its only in recent years that Waterview has gone somewhat up in value and only because of its proximity to the city...its never had anything else to recommend it.
However, successive governments (both Labour and National, as well as their mates in the local council) since around 1970 decided that Manurewa would be the sacrificial lamb for so-called 'group housing' development because on its western side there was acres of cheap farmland to be developed for cheap housing. This was the beginning of the ghettoization of Manurewa, particularly Manurewa West.
So, it was very good buying in 1967 and even better selling in 1978 or 1979 when I sold it to the next door motel owner for $43,500. However, he never developed it because by then Manurewa's decline was underway and I see it was only developed for multi-storey townhouses last an Indian builder, probably to meet the demand for accommodation by the huge Indian influx that has of late moved into Manurewa. The old house was removed. I would say he would have paid well over $1,000,000 for the property.
The figures of $3500 deposit on a $11,500 priced house shouldn't bother you: a good 30% deposit, fairly run-of -the-mill or even better than those of today. Nothing about the prices you mention is inconsistent with my figures.
So, that must leave my deposit of $3,500 that you are struggling with, or rather calling into question. All I can say is that is what a lot of my peers said at the time, and that I could never understand how my friends failed to save. I think that, at the time, I was ahead of the pack and looked ahead. See my account on the pains I took to save above.

Waterview with its proximity to unitech was a good location since the 90s (thirty years ago). We loved it being up the road from the motorway interchange. You say that the buying up of cheap farm land for group housing was the start of the manurewa ghettos. Do you see any comparison between that and the move by Phil Twyford to do something similar with group housing on farmland. Good to hear that you were such an enterprising person... well done.

Were your original tenants ok?

My first tenants were ok but the house was fairly grotty and I suppose at that stage I wasn't so concerned with any damage or I didn't notice it. But if you've just spent long hours and some expense doing a place up and they trashed the place as was the case with my next lot of tenants then you most certainly notice damage. When I first visited the property on returning from overseas I was met with a completely blackened kitchen....the tenants had had a stove-top fire and had never reported it to my father who was supposed to be keeping a check on things. The other damage included crayon drawings on the wallpaper in every room in the house, terribly stained carpet in the lounge and hallway, a crazed vanity in the bathroom, shower curtain rail pulled out of the wall, shower curtains ruined, the bath had chips in it, myriad chips to the finishing timbers, and many other things I can't remember; all those damaged fittings and floor coverings were brand new before renting it to these tenants. The only thing I could claim insurance on was the fire damage to the kitchen for some reason. In 1978 or 1979 I sold the property to the next door motel-owner.

I’ve had good and bad landlords. The bad ones were bad because they were too psychologically invested in Their property; they couldn’t see that some of their behaviour was objectively unreasonable. Not such a problem with professionals.
The short duration of tenancies in NZ is a bigger problem. Sure, some landlords will hold on to good tenants for years, but even good tenants are insecure when they’re living in someone’s retirement fund, in a country where flipping houses for fun and profit is the national sport.

Bloody fools ............the rental market is already in a worse state than under National , quite simply we have had about 100,000 new migrant arrivals since the COL took office and the supply of rental stock has fallen as investors exit the market due to them being openly attacked by Labour

Its called unintended consequences