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Getting renters' rights up to German standards dubbed a key stepping stone to cooling the housing market

Getting renters' rights up to German standards dubbed a key stepping stone to cooling the housing market

There are calls for New Zealand to take a leaf out of Germany’s book, and create a more secure environment for people to rent homes, and landlords to manage them.

Shamubeel and Selena Eaqub have proposed the idea in their new book, Generation Rent: Rethinking New Zealand’s Priorities’.

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research principal economist and his wife – a stay-at-home mum who’s previously worked for GoldmanSachs, JBWere, the Reserve Bank, and Statistics New Zealand – argue that creating more certainty in the rental market is one of the things that can be done to help calm the unruly Auckland housing market.

They say doing as the Germans have done, and improving the quality of life for renters, will ease the pressure on people to enter the property market, and thus ease the pressure on demand and property prices.

The Eaqubs argue it’s a matter of tightening tenancy laws and getting people to change their perceptions of renting, so renting is no longer deemed something only people who can’t afford to buy, do.

With 57% of Aucklanders living in houses they don’t own, the Eaqubs say the impact renters have on the economy can’t be overlooked.

‘Generation Rent’

In ‘Generation Rent’, they write, home ownership “peaked in the early 1990s, when just over three-quarters of the adult population owned their own home. Home ownership has since been falling, and by 2013 just under two-thirds of households lived in a non-rental property.

“If one looks at individuals rather than households, just over half of all Kiwis now live in a rented home.”

While the fall has been most dramatic among those born after 1980, home ownership rates have fallen across all age groups.

If housing continues to be as unaffordable as it is, the Eaqubs see this shift towards renting continuing.

“If household incomes continue to rise at their historical rate of 3.5% per year and house prices rise at the 8% a year that investors expect, mortgage payments will be a staggering 80% of a young couple’s income by 2020 – and more than their annual income by 2031.”

The Eaqubs look to Germany for some solutions to improving the rental market in New Zealand.

Its rental rate is the second highest in Europe, at 57%, while in Berlin, 90% of people rent.

Germany’s rental market is so regulated; new legislation has just this week been passed, which bars landlords from increasing rents in Berlin by more than 10% above the local average rate.

Such controls were already in place for existing tenants, but have now been extended to new contracts, as authorities try to put some brakes on some of the fastest rising rents in Europe.

As for the rest of Germany, landlords aren’t allowed to increase rents by more than 20% over three years.

The Eaqubs say, “For landlord-tenant relationships to succeed, there need to be rules clearly defining what is required from both parties when it comes to the operational, day-to-day aspects of renting.

“This includes the expectations of both parties – for example, what state the rental property should be in, how quickly and what type of repairs should be done, or what state the tenant should leave the property in when they vacate it.”

The situation in New Zealand

The Eaqubs outline the rules around renting in New Zealand as follows:

“Leases currently tend to be short term, with more than half of tenancies lasting only 10 months. In comparison, owner-occupiers spend an average of seven years in their home.

“Short-term leases can make tenants feel insecure in their rental properties and, ultimately, make it difficult for them to feel at ‘home’.

“In New Zealand, rental agreements can be either periodic or fixed-term agreements, with periodic the most common. With a periodic lease, a landlord can give 90 days’ notice to remove a tenant from the premises, but this can be shortened to 42 days if the landlord sells the house or needs it for the use of a family member or an employee.

“On the other side of the ledger, if tenants want to move out, they only have to provide 21 days’ notice under a periodic lease agreement. This does not leave much time for landlords to fill the vacant property.

Adding fuel to the fire, they point out that most amateur investors in New Zealand are motivated by capital gains, rather than the income from rents.

“Around 41% of landlords in New Zealand are accidental landlords who do not even know what features tenants may be looking for.

“They differ from professional landlords and institutional investors, who buy future rental income and hold on to properties for a long period – and are more focused on tenants’ needs.”

The Eaqubs say, “New Zealand’s tenancy laws may have been suitable when they were first made, when renters were mainly young people who did not require as much security of tenure.

Today, however more families and elderly people, who need more stability and are less able to up-and-go, are renting.

The situation in Germany

In Germany, rental properties are provided by both amateur landlords and institutions, with the former owning 60% of rented housing units.

The Eaqubs say, “Landlords must give between three and nine months’ notice to evict a tenant, and can only do so with good reason. The amount of notice needed increases the longer the tenant has lived in the property. Landlords must also have a very good reason to evict a tenant.”

They say German laws don’t enable property speculation in the same way as New Zealand laws do, in the sense that landlords can’t quickly flick off their rental properties to take advantage of higher house prices.

It is for these reasons that “German house prices have barely kept pace with general prices since 1990”.

German renters are also encouraged to make their places feel like home. Pets are allowed and minor alterations are permitted and considered normal.

The Eaqubs say, “When renting in Germany, tenants are essentially paying for the shell of the building; even light fittings are not necessarily provided”.

What can be done in NZ

The Eaqubs suggest tenancy laws in New Zealand are changed so that the standard tenancy term is longer – three years for example.

As is done with KiwiSaver, if the landlord or tenant wants to choose a different length of term, they’d actively have to deviate from the template.

The Eaqubs believe this “nudging” technique will see a shift towards longer tenancy agreements over time.

Furthermore, they suggest the notice period of 42 days should be extended to give tenants more security.

Finally, a tenant should be allowed to make whatever alternations they’d like to their rental property, provided they return it to the state they received it in when they first moved in.

Oliver Hartwich’s take

Born and educated in Germany, the executive director of the NZ Initiative think tank, Dr Oliver Hartwich, sees some difficulties in New Zealand using Germany as a model in this sense.

With virtually no house price inflation in Germany over the past 30 years, and historically high mortgage rates (interest rates are now rock bottom), he says there’s been no reason for Germans to jump into the property market.

They haven’t been able to benefit from capital gains, and interest rates were up to 20% in the 80s.

Furthermore, local councils are funded through income tax and GST, so have always been adequately funded and incentivised pushed new housing developments.

In this sense, Hartwich says renting culture is deeply entrenched in society. He points out it’s perfectly normal to see a high-paid investment banker living in a rented apartment and catching the tram to work.

“The problem is how do you change culture? You can’t legislate that. It’s something that will grow over time”, he says.

He agrees with the Eaqubs in the sense that renting will lose its stigma once the housing market settles and buying loses its clout.

Yet he doesn’t think further regulations on the rental market are necessary.

“Culture will probably change slowly over time if we get a more stable property market”, Hartwich says.  

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My friends moved into a rental in Germany, they had to supply the kitchen. Apparently that's quite normal.

Well if the idea really is a 5~10 year rental period and not buy and flick, that starts to make some sense. Interestingly here the housing WOF doesnt even like the renter supplying heating and expects fixed units already in place let alone a Kitchen! Ergo what is the WOFs real aim? to give stable rentals? or un-realistic expectations the landlord is expected to pay for "free of charge"?

Berlin! The source of all good ideas over the past century ...

This has to be the biggest load of cobblers, I have ever heard.

More artificial interventions avoiding the real problem ... that NZ has too many migrants from countries whose citizens have no other skills or interest than speculating on property.

Auckland is overrun with foreigners and there is still no sensible action to stop this problem despite the dire consequences for the NZers who were born here.

Auckland is full, that is the problem. Deal with it.

No more moronic ideas.

Flogging cheap resentments, are we? The evil German rental laws! Must be Nazi stuff.

"Auckland is overrun with foreigners" -> seems you have picked up at least some good Berlin ideas of the last centrury.

What a senseless comment.

Over 39% of Aucklanders born overseas, throw in their children and the number increases further.

The question is why so much migration so fast when the city hasn't really been able to cope for at least the last two decades.

If migration had been kept to sensible limits then there would not be the current housing problem in Auckland. Economic growth should not be reliant on population growth.

It is an entirely sensible comment, and people who call the racism card when anyone brings up the issue are just in utter denial of reality.

Auckland is full. Shut the door.

All true Chris_J

I have lived in Australia for a number of years. A place of mass migration. 400,000 per year over recent times. In the news every day the consequences are now playing out. The government is now dealing with the consequences of other people who come for the opportunity of a new start, of a new life, but in the end they don't assimilate, they are reluctant to fit in and absorb the culture of their newly adopted country. Instead they seek to perpetuate their own cultures. What has been discovered is the wonderful bounty, opportunity, of unlimited welfare, free housing, free health and education has been perverted into creating something never intended. In addition to the 400k above add another 50,000 refugees per year which cumulatively costs the country over $5 billion per year and climbing. The number of refugees has been cut to 10K pa. On a pro-rata basis that is equivalent to 2000 pa into NZ. The young of the immigrants and refugees are radicalising and following their faith and departing to the ISIS theatre and fighting against those who took them in and fostered them. Every single departee has been identified as having been on welfare at the point of departure. The intended benefits have never been obtained. They have been diverted, perverted and corrupted. Harsh words I know. But unfortunately true. There is a slow tide turning. Not pretty.

That is being manifested in a growing anger, both government and community, at how people of extreme wealth have exploited the laws of the country to launder money into Sydney and Melbourne, perverting the commonly accepted fundamentals of the property market. An anger that is growing by the day.

What is sought needs to be carefully managed to ensure intended outcomes are achieved. Left to the free market it wont happen. What is happening in Auckland sees its' unique character being overwhelmed. It is being drowned. It's Achilles heel is its adherence to the doctrine of a fair go and not complaining, she'll be right mate

" they are reluctant to fit in and absorb the culture of their newly adopted country. Instead they seek to perpetuate their own cultures."

Not everyone is good with sheep ? i think i would judge people as i find them , and what is a Kiwi culture , it would be a mix of Maori, and European cultures , there are very few western cities that are not multi cultural .
NZ with a tiny population , could do with atleast double what it has now , more tax payers to improve infrastructure . How many Kiwi's exactly have left to fight for IS and how many have left to fight IS ? Wars have two sides and it is usual fro us to support one of those sides .


Ok phiip, the obvious question what do they pay the tax with? We have added an extra million people and not improved productivity, the dairy boom is over, leaving a 9 billion dollar hole in the economy, forestry has gone the same way.
All we are doing is dividing our wealth among more and more people.

By wealth you mean nature value or economic value? Because I doubt there is economic value in a land if it's unproductive (not worked by people) and I doubt migrants in New Zealand don't increase economic value when mostly they come already educated and probing they're healthy without costing a cent to NZ.

If there's no much improvement in economy it's not because of migration but because of a non very productive model based on commodities and not technology and added value products.

If land prices are overvalued and we keep trying to export milk in a competitive market how can productivity grow?

your doubts are unsupported. They don't increase the economic value and their education is frequently poor and culturally contaminated.

Most seem to wander in completely oblivious, like a stereotypical cliche big US American who thinks they're US Citizens Gawdammit and They Have Rights, stomp over everything and wander off.
Or remembering the issue of certain foods being prepared in Hotels/Motels by people from heavy curry eating backgrounds... No no, I can't smell anything wrong. Perhaps if you knew what the place looked like before you got here.....

Trawl through the migration statistics for the past 5 years - by job classification

Examine them carefully

Then tell us how many farmers, agriculturalists, forestry people arrived - almost zero

99% of all new arrivals, those that have jobs, are in the service sector

Hardly 1% are in the production sector

How long can that go on for?

Philip East.....please can you provide proof that an increased population provides benefits? The simple maths of the increased costs in Government and the Bureaucracy enlargement ensures that there are no benefits/improvements to be made.....

philip, proper research on immigration shows that immigration increases the burden on the infrastructure, not relieves it.

If you believe in growth for ever on a finite planet I guess you can believe anything.

Even simple math should tell you more users means a need for more services and infrastructure which means more cost. As an example I mean we use something like 25kwh of energy per capita per day (working from memory on that number), double the number of ppl means twice the demand.
We "make" about 65% of electricity from renewables much of it hydro, very little hydro left to do even if you ignore the environmental damage from that.

8million kiwis? nope, 4 million of us produce food for 20million but thatt akes a huge quantity of fossil fuels to do it with. By 2050 fossil fuels, specifically oil is gone and Ngas will also be gone if not in decline, we will be lucky to feed 8million by then.

More people, == more usage == more infrastructure == more CO2 emissions.

It'd be good if you first defined what is culture and then explain why someone has to adopt that culture.

Ideally the society should be composed of one single civilization (which we already have, every nation is capitalist, have official currencies, law, a monopoly of the brute force..) and many cultures. Trying to get an homogenization when it doesn't come naturally through centuries is a mistake often used by fascism to differentiate against outsiders and smooth insiders.

I'm sure many here admire cities like London, New York, Barcelona. Is the city what you admire or the attractive mix of cultures that those cities are lucky to have? Why to blame multiculturalism if not for hiding some other reasons to oppose immigration?

I'm a migrant myself. Do you really care if I don't like tomato sauce or I play football instead cricket or rugby?

Your "ideal" is a complete anathema to me.

We blame immigration for the damage it has done - can't you see it ????
Or perhaps you think the Europeans have done wonders for the Maori culture too.

for a start, do you even understand the differences in culture between Auckland and Wellington and Cantaburry? Or Auckland and Palmerston North, or Gore or Taumarunui, let alone our countries rural areas? (Featherston, Kaikohe, Waverley, Waimate etc and those are the towns, not full rural).

A culture is a set of values and morals, and frequently includes weights from belief structures and legal (ownership) systems.

No, I can't see the damage. Immigration is something so common, that if it hadn't happened we all would still live in Africa.

Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury, rural areas.. what I see in NZ is just a mix of cultures everywhere. There is no such a thing as NZ culture (unless you refer to Moriori or Maori culture, which wasn't probably unique and differed from north, south, east, west ..). NZ culture is borrowed by immigrants. Even the language is borrowed from England!

Is it population increase what you're against? Is it some immigrants but not all of them? I'm sorry but I can't see your point.

I'm originally from Spain. Should I blame immigration from the Phoenician culture, Romanic culture or Arabic culture?
How could I? I wouldn't consider then navigation, law or mathematics as part of my culture, yet it is thanks to immigrants.

I could never see immigration as a problem when talking about culture, as culture is in constant evolution and enrichment. I only see benefits.

Now if you told me you're afraid about natural resources, overpopulation or crowded cities that changes everything, but redirecting part of what it's now exported to sustain inner population would balance things. If NZ can export most of its production I'm sure it can accommodate more people in a sustainable way.

Written like a true outsider

I strongly disagree that there is no such thing as a NZ culture long have you lived here? NZ has a strong culture and it is not all about my Maori cuzzies.

It is wrong to think that our early pioneering root stock have not left their mark on their progeny!!

NZ's own culture is still being defined, in constant evolution. For now i can only see a mixture and I find big differences in different parts of the country, and I have been already 5 years here and lived in the south and north island.

I tend to make difference between culture (if it's universal, in this case within NZ) and folklore. A culture is something that doesn't need external support to become mainstream, and my point is that NZ, due to its youth as a nation, has no mainstream culture despite what I see in the media to define what "kiwis like doing" as a constant attempt to build a national identity (again, culture is universal or it's not culture but folklore, and nation, as opposed to State, is a territory with a well defined culture).

Don't get the wrong idea. I love living here and I love the mix of cultures. It's just that I struggle to find something that it's really unique in the beliefs, gastronomy, language, type of constructions, religion, art, designs, way of cooking..

I still believe that most of it is borrowed and mixed. Maybe I'm wrong and as you said there is something already different, unique and homogeneous within NZ that can be identified as culture. But I'd like to hear an explanation on this on what do you think it's purely NZ culture.

That's why my opinion is not that immigration "threatens" in any way NZ culture, instead it makes it more complex. I think what immigration from such a diverse different backgrounds (Asia, Europe, Southafrica, America..) is causing is a delay in defining NZ's own culture, which was more homogeneous before simply because most of the immigration came from the same countries in Britain, Ireland, north of Europe and the already existing Maori, but not because it was already defined as its own.

Nothing wrong, imho, with having such a mixture as long as everybody comes along nicely.

From Spain eh... well bless those of my ancestors who were French.
Study your history better muntjaqi, in fact better still go home and study it - "Don't leave home until you've seen the country" :)

No you shouldn't blame the Phoenicians or Romanic or Arabs. Perhaps the Basque, the Moors (who brought europe science), the Portuguese (whose maps your people stole), or the French (whom your people constantly backstabbed). In fact if it wasn't for selling out to the English your culture of opportunistic fools and peacocks would have been wiped from the Earth.

and yes an an opportunist I'm not surprised that see see nothing wrong with immigration, nor do you give a rats backside for the cultures you destroy in your cultures seeking of power and money.

One does not need look as far back as the history of the conquistadors, or even watched too much Zorro (and the history that gave rise to those stories). One only need look at Barcelona and say there's a lovely place where a foreign cultured person will be welcomed and catch an honest taxi to some friendly local culture.

Oh yes, Spain certainly has a culture... and I certainly wouldn't want it near my food. It's one of lies and profiteering, preferably by dishonest or cunning means.

No wonder you don't recognise New Zealand's culture nor understand what "fair go" is all about.
No wonder you want more people and constant "evolution".
Me, I prefer some straight up Kiwi honesty.

What a bunch of hateful comments. A person who thinks can judge history and determine who is good and who is bad cannot be very smart. First of all because to do so you would need all the facts and understand its context and that's simply impossible. And second because things are never white or black everywhere.

Do you really think reading all the history books in the world would help you to have a better judgment about history? What an ignorant closed minded hillbilly who dares to make statements such as "Spain has a culture of lies and profiteering preferably by dishonest or cunning means".

If you were to read all the history books you'd probably find many inconsistencies and would have mixed "feelings". You know why? Because history depends on its teller. And if you take a fictional character like Zorro as a source of history, no wonder you've got such a confusion and verbal diarrhea when talking about history.

If I wouldn't know better I would explain further what you are. But probably you wouldn't understand it either.

Was my comment kiwi-honest enough?

Yes we have a culture
NZ has always punched above its weight on the world stage
Mostly from a population of 2 million and less
That has diminished with the years as population increased
An outdoors life, celebrating sun, sea, surf, sport, excellence

It's being replaced with diversity of cuisine and fast food shops

Phar Lap
All Blacks
George Nepia
Robert "Bob" Scott
Dr John "Jack" Lovelock
Yvette Williams
Sir Edmund Hillary
Sir Murray Halberg
Sir Peter Snell
Arthur Lydiard
Barry Magee
Colin Meads
Sir John Walker
Rod Dixon
Alison Roe
Sir Bob Charles
Sir Peter Blake
Sir Richard Hadlee
Sir Russell Coutts

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
Tim Finn
Neil Finn

Valerie Adams
Lydia Ko

"they don't assimilate" Did Europeans assimilate into Maori culture? no. What did we end up with? a mixture of cultures with pockets of originality. What about all the extremist fundie christians about? Do they obey our laws? hmm not if they have to in some cases, they self determined moral code that god supports seems to allow them to step outside NZ law on occasion. So do immigrants obey our laws? seems so, personal beliefs are just that, allowed in a fair and decent society. Learning can come both ways no culture is desolate IMHO.

I remember at school in the 80s and early 90s, the classroom was a homogenous place - we were all NZers. Yes there were some Pacific Islanders, some Maori, a few Asians, but everyone spoke English only and everyone was considered equal.

Now we have schools in Auckland where the vast majority are ethnic groupings, speaking their own languages at home and maintaining their own customs in such a way that is out of step with NZ values of egalitarianism and community.

Rapid immigration is dividing NZ into an classes of people's rather than the "one people" that developed over the 150 years from 1840-1990.

You still find the same spirit in pockets of Auckland and certainly throughout the rest if the country, but it is being swamped in other areas by the importation of foreign culture en masse.

Many cultures merge in here quite seamlessly including many Asians. In fact some NZers of Chinese descent who I know (who immigrated many decades ago or their ancestors migrated even earlier during the 19thC) are also concerned at this rapid migration.

i think you are confusing immigration with Rogernomics

Rogernomics is the New Zealand version of Neo-liberalism.

One of the characteristics of Neo-liberalism is that you stop defending the border.
another is you stop doing what works and do what feels good.


Chris I don’t wish to shout racist when you are trying to have a sensible debate about an emotive issue but your argument is clearly xenophobic. Could you please lay down some of cons of immigration other than “those people don’t talk and walk like me, that’s enough of that” or “Dam (insert derogatory here) are buying up our houses and taking our jobs”

I for one am all for immigration and before you ask, I was born in Auckland, consider myself “kiwi as bro” and currently belong to the age group priced out of the Auckland housing market. However I consider myself long sighted enough to know that my parent’s generation (Boomers) didn’t have enough children to offset their number and that as society ages and the dependency ratio decreases I will be forced to pick up the tab.

Immigration lessens this burden and helps to grow the country (if largely made up of young people, think foreign students staying here after studying or young professionals/families) and so I welcome it (I recognize that I am pushing for a certain type of immigration here over others but I still think on the balance immigration is better than the alternative).

I think you are blaming immigration for a failure in policy settings in other areas such as housing and employment. While I agree with you that it may be exuberating certain problems I don’t believe they are the root cause and clamping down it without solving these issues first leaves everyone worse off in the long run.

Rant done.

When a community is under siege, there are two possible responses. One is to turn away from the problem and cry bigotry or racism or xenophobia. The other is to face the problem squarely. Often it’s misguided outsiders who refuse to confront problems pointed out by brave insiders

quote plagiarised from

A third is to ignore all the problems it causes in the population and make big personal profits "managing" it...

I think that people worry more about the rate of immigration. The ability of society to absorb immigrants. This is the central idea in NZ. It cannot be racist as such because the immigrants coming here are from UK, Ireland , Pacific as well as India and China. So it is about absorption.
The idea that people are the answer to economic problems means that we can continue to under invest in our own country, we do not invest enough in education and training, we do not invest enough in technology. Automation on farms will mean less and less workers are needed, but more and more skills and technology.
Immigration at a basic level is a means by which capital fights with labour- increase the supply of labour and capital is worth more and labour is worth less. The history of NZ has been one of expensive labour and cheap land. Not enough workers for the available land so workers worth more and land worth less. Today workers at the bottom are very cheap and land is very expensive.

I've been teaching at Uni level for about 10 years now. It seems that within that decade we've gone from, on average, 10% of our students being overseas students - to now about one third of all students being overseas students. If we had a university entrance qualification test (an English language one) my guess is that most of those overseas students (over 90%, say) who are non-English speaking in their home countries, would not pass such an entrance test. And the problem is, once accepted into our tertiary education system with such poor English skills, we make allowances for the fact that they are working with English as a second language. This subsequently also lowers our standard of expectation with respect to grammar and the written word from our students where English is their first language (as we can't apply one rule for o/s students and another for the rest).

It is a real dilemma - we (apparently) need these overseas enrollments as they are more profitable than local enrollments, but our overall standards/expectations might be suffering as a result. I often worry, when marking yet another essay by an overseas student with a C pass (because the content was passable but the English language and some of the nuanced interpretation would have been a fail) that I would not want such a student entering the workforce here on my recommendation - as the potential for making mistakes (due to language/interpretation skills) would be quite high. Yet, these are the very graduates who might be seeking PR in the future, and then if successful, applying for extended family members to also seek residency. In most cases, it might well be that the extended family members' English language skills are non-existent.

I love our multicultural society, but ability to integrate and subsequently produce and thrive is very important. How we manage this better is presently not being addressed IMO. I look at places like London and worry. Failure to integrate causes all kinds of problems for society at large.

Degrees of Deception

Kate: If you have VPN internet access or you are not Geo-blocked you should watch the following Four Corners investigation

If anything your, institution and your co-educators should make it compulsory viewing. You should make the effort to watch it.

Four Corners - Monday 20th April 2015
Australia has been gripped by a national debate over how to fund university education. But perhaps there's a more important question: what is it worth?

A Four Corners investigation has unearthed alarming new evidence of a decline in academic standards at institutions around the country. Lecturers and tutors are grappling with a tide of academic misconduct and pressure from faculty managers to pass weak students. Many say commercial imperatives are overtaking academic rigour. But to ensure a steady flow of students from overseas, universities have had to ensure their entry requirements are sufficiently low.

Reporter Linton Besser provides alarming evidence of corruption among the network of overseas agents who tout for business on universities' behalf.

"The risk is they're going to put applicants through to the university with fake qualifications or who they know have cheated on tests, or who are trying to undertake some sort of visa fraud." - Corruption investigator

Thanks - will watch it.

One of the observations that I made during some of my university times was that many of the Research Fellows (and assistants) tended to by foreign. All very nice people and great to see the top level/cutting edge information exchange occurring.
However many people worship PhD graduates, yet in New Zealand where do they accelerate or impact New Zealand (country, population, or brand)?

Frequently they come out a bit naive and very poor, unless they have wealthy family backing them.

Similar for graduate students, is our economy generating enough profit for them to blow it in blue sky/open fields research? No.

In fact what I noticed is that for the education they don't get paid well (outside of government and certain multinational price setting industries), also doing in-the-trenches observation those without at least an undergraduate degree get paid even worse. This is not healthy, as it makes it hard for them to make risky investments, invest in cultural or social development, and to support future improvements (ie rugrats educations).

So wages need to go up.... But I've also done several years in various companies. Many small and medium NZ companies are really struggling. Things have improved since the 90's where industry training was impossible to get but many employers really aren't getting the funds they need to grow businesses, and shareholders aren't getting healthy returns or retained earnings they need to get extra people into the business - this was fall out from Rogerednomics, where competition stripped everything to the bone and then some, and nothing as left for lifestyle or excess staff usage.

that's _why_ I point my finger at taxes (and interest...but interest has also been brought to it's knees).
If wages aren't high enough .... and wages are as higher as the business can push them... what gives? Clearly there is no use taking performance/productivity reducing shortcuts as that might fix short-term cashflow but it will only exasperate long term issues. which leaves the legally required (but non-contributing) compliance stuff.

Why do we need wages higher?
Because people are struggling to pay the fixed expenses, the rent, the insurance, and food bills.
But why are those so high?
Why can't people choose to pick cheaper providers or take cheaper alternatives (which is what was done in the past).
Lets take housing. It used to take $20,000 and quarter acre (out of plentiful supply) to build a dwelling. It had minimal servicing and low waste disposal and social capital requirements. Thus many people could afford it, and the minimal services were cheap overhead. It was a cold nasty house but it was affordable on their had to be (you made do, or used recyclables/re-usables).
But now we have a lot less prime sites, The Law demands certificated (read: expensive) labour, certified (read: expensive) materials that can only be got from certain approved suppliers (alternatives exist but are excessively expensive - even if you do put your guttering and corrigated iron inside). the site surveying and legal costs aretenfold what they were despite technology to increase speed and reduce human cost. But the question lies...can people afford these houses? Simply put, no. they are living beyond their means but the law states these are minimums and that certifications SHALL occur. The State forces us to live beyond our means... and for what advantage??

Many other things are also "improved" by our government. More and better roading, nationwide broadband, power grid, social development programs, bigger healthcare range, government departments that relocate and rebuild their offices frequently, bigger councils, more people working for government to offer wider services and to cope with the growing bureaucracy.
And much of this needs to be done to cope with our growing population.... and that's where we come back to the immigrant issue. If wages aren't high enough, if we have problems utilising our graduates and seeing everyone benefit from their successes, and business are struggling to make ends meet, ....and we're clearly living beyond our means with the primary cause being growing population creating overhead issues ... then importing more people is certain not going to improve the economy.

And importing "expert" foreigners into the best positions REALLY isn't going to be good for _our_ graduates and students, and probably not for New Zealand itself.

PhD's are research specialists; they discover new information, by definition this is how they end up getting awarded their degree. NZ companies don't invest in R&D, we are consistently at the bottom of comparible countries. Reason for this is that we don't have massive large cap companies based here. A PhD who wants to work in nz most likely finds themselves at a uni, or if anywhere else the PhD MIGHT help them get the job but is completely neglected in all other terms, even though they have proven a unique set of skills, the ability to research, apply good science and reasoning, and discover new INNOVATION that can be transformative. Thats why R&D spend is seen by most other countries to be very good money spent, innovation is gold, unforntunately in NZ this only happens in our uni's and usually most of the economic gains from the innovation aren't captured that well (poor IP knowledge and a focus on publishing over securing IP for the countries benefit).

So you think the answer to problems exponential growth causes is more exponential growth?

Matt73, I would like to answer that question, but first I will assure you that immigration and racism are not related. Through school some of my best friends were Asian and Pacific Islanders and also an Australian for that matter.

Now one interesting point which I noted the other day when the 6 millionth NZ baby was born was that the 1 millionth was in 1915, 2 millionth in 1946, 3 millionth in 1964, 4 millionth in 1981, 5 millionth in 1999 and 6 millionth in 2015.

What that tells me is that post 1946, about every 18 years 1 million babies are born in NZ. And partially due to rapid immigration over the past 20 years that rate has increased to every 16 years and is predicted to accelerate even faster.

ie: there is no great decline in population that requires rapid immigration to replace dwindling population growth. Any such suggestion is a myth purported by those pushing their own agenda.

NZ could have a stable sustainable population growth but we have blindly chosen to accept rapid population growth as a fabled economic panacea. Instead of making NZers wealthy, rapid recent migration has made us poorer through higher house prices and lower wages.

The solution to our housing woes is less migration. Instead the solution of building more homes is likely to require even more migrants as the current recent migrants are not skilled in this area! Hence an unending cycle of more and more people and those people needing more and more houses and therefore more and more infrastructure and therefore more and more migrant workers to build that infrastructure and therefore more and more houses and on and on.

The solution to Auckland rents does not involve rent caps, it involves less demand which in turn involves less people in Auckland, which has two components - one is less unskilled immigration and less service industry immigration, 2 is boosting the regions.

I also recently had the thought (while in the Deep South) that maybe immigration isn't such a national concern partly because the migrants are focused in clusters around Auckland, therefore migrants aren't actually interacting directly with the majority of the population, hence the greater NZ electorate don't see what has happened to Auckland and the problems it has caused in terms of housing imbalances congestion and other social issues.

Matt, growth is finite so what number of people do you think we'd be about right with. though I am guessing you may be one of those who thinks you can just keep growing ad infinitum.
We actually now have to get really creative and figure out not only how to prosper without population growth but how to do it as population reduces. In the past we've sorted this by blowing each other to bits then having a massive growth phase to rebuild (exactly as Chch offered an "opportunity" for that". On the whole I think we have lost the taste for each other's blood (fingers crossed, anyway) so we have to figure this out another way, and just hauling more and more people in is not it.

Try watching this, its pretty simple math.

Theodore Roosevelt's thoughts on immigration.

We should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us he shall be treated on an exact equality with every one else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed or birth-place or origin.

But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. . . We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding-house; and we have room for but one soul loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.

I was 6 when I moved here (with no unique skills other than my non-kiwi accent). Not with much direct say in the matter about migrating here (that was up to my parents). Now in my 40's. I don't live in Auckland. Can I stay?

Hamish, what has happened has happened. The question is why continue with excess migration when Auckland clearly can't cope and the majority of locals (according to numerous polls over the years) would prefer to see less immigration.

Immigration brings few benefits for locals, so why do we let it happen to such an extent?

We can't take the huddled masses of the entire world.

Yep, but the thing is, how do we stop them say boat ppl? or what about a collapsing foreign govn arriving here by naval vessel?

You stop them by being ruthlessly prepared to STOP them.
remind me just how nice folks in Bali would be if I slipped in by boat with half a brick of Meth in my underwear...

Indeed. Interesting thing but std practice for a lifeboat is to get well clear of the sinking ship, why? One of the reasons, to make sure the desperate in the water cannot get to it and swamp it by trying to get onboard. I think Ive even read that those onboard used the oars to keep swimmers away.

What gets me about the refugees, is "What did they do to stop the problems in their country?".

Often many of them are not real productive people.
Many of them were advantaged and well off and handed bunches of cash over to shady characters for a quick way out - not that I dislike them for that, I would do the same for my family if things got that bad. But that goes back to that earlier point...they are frequently wealthy or connected people...who did nothing to prevent the problems... and they were happy to make a good profit on the way up, and run like rats when the piper came for his payment. We don't want people like that.
What's more! Read what some refugees in Australia say. There's absolutely no thanks for Australia, no recognition that Australian people supported them or rescued them - oh no, it's always about them!
"We must rescue *more* of my people the Australians are nasty horrible people if they don't accept the rest of MY people". "Why won't Australia free our country". "You have wide open spaces and nice cities why don't you let all our people in". "Why should we alclimatise to australian norms we are proud of our (violent warfilled) culture and country (that we ran like rats from).

the government checks all incomes, for "assets" they can use of trade for intelligence and political favours.

Often people who did stand up for the decent side get sent home, either because they're "subversive" or for "favours"

We'll say the same about you when y'all flee NZ when the TPPA , which y'all let slip into here, wreaks NZ.

The present Govn is already trying its best to tie us down, this is just another nail in the neo-liberal arsenal to do us over.

PS There is also a similar Atlantic agreement, so really where will ppl run to?

Well they are ordinary ppl mostly.

If there's migration is because there's workforce needed. Otherwise unemployment would be high in Auckland.

unemployment rose in Auckland in the last period. the reason big business loves immigration is it keeps wage inflation down. also governments now call 5% unemployed as full employment, why?
check the papers and you will see industry group after industry group complaining because the government wont let in cheaper workers who does that benefit, those here looking for a job? young people trying to get in the workforce? those looking to move jobs to increase pay?
in my industry immigration has lowered the pay rates by 10% and in the GFC they were the first pushed out the door, if they were equal in experience ETC why was that?

what sector is that?
As far as I know immigration under the skilled category is based on a skill set shortage in the sector where immigration is beneficial for the economy.

Salaries tend to go down if workers outnumber job offers, that's true. But if that's the case in your sector maybe it's because government is not regulating immigration in the way they should aiming skill shortages.

In any case, immigrants are not to blame. They come if they're invited to come by kiwi government and offered jobs by kiwi employers..

there are a lot of immigrants that come in without job offers, they come through the schools it is a backdoor system once here 'Training" they then apply for a job.
and the reason they get offered the jobs is they will take less some hence keeping wage inflation down thats why the government looks the other way.
if the system worked correctly yes they would need a job before they arrived and yes they would need to be HIGHLY skilled.
have a look at how much the foreign education generates and you will see why Governments this and the last wont spend a lot checking

um...this isnt my understanding. If they come via a NZ Uni degree they have 12months I think to find a job in the area of their degree. Now I do know there is some fiddling going on here, just how much I dont know. next, to come without a job offer is quite hard, you have to be very well qualified to do that so actually that is indeed how the system is working.

Foreign education for secondary and tertiary does indeed generate revenue Though j Just consider for a moment that a NZ degree is going to be genuine qualification and shows a young person should be a good bet for NZ to take on.

no thats not correct i have worked with heaps that have come here and trained for much lower than a degree (normally 12 months) and found a job then progressed onto a work permit then onto resident then citizen interesting was that when things were good most once they got to citzen up and went to aussie.
i even know one that used his NZ passport to get a green card, but when he goes back to china uses his passport there so he doesnt need a visa being a NZ citizen.
are we heading down the same road

China doesnt allow dual nationality. "The Article 3 of China Nationality Law holds that the country will not admit the dual nationality of a Chinese citizen. Moreover, the Article 9 of that law declares that as soon as a Chinese takes a foreign citizenship, he will automatically lose his Chinese citizenship."

Well getting a job with good enough quals to get you the points for residency is pretty standard stuff and I cant see what is wrong with that.

that's why he flew to hong kong to get his NZ passport, just because rules are in place does not mean they will be broken by people who come from places where that is normal practice.

Immigrants are essential to assist building the houses for the immigrants who are essential to assist building the houses for the imm.... et cetera. New NZ dictionaries will cross reference JK with the word PONZI. Health, education, traffic and policing issues sure to folow.

..what a silly comment. He is talking about the wisdom of letting more in....not booting people out.

OK. That is enough of the race-based / immigration aspects to this thread. Please focus future comment on renting.

Here is a question regarding landlords. Portfolios are built it seems by the increased value of a property used to be the deposit on the next property. Is the gain in value that is used to provide the deposit/equity in the subsequent property taxed? I think that it is not taxed. I wonder why. The money has been created in a particular year, the landlord uses that money , why is this not simply taxable income?

A property investor would argue that it is a non-realised gain, and as such shouldn't be taxed."What happens if the value of the property falls, and the gain is not realised? Tax would then have been paid on non-income" is one response. Having said that it should, of course, be taxed as implied income, but then used as an off-set if the property does fall in price. Similarly owners of property should pay tax on the implied income of the house they live in - after all, they are paying rent to themselves. But that would raise howls of protest from non-investor owners. (the principle there is that if the equity of the property was on deposit in the bank, it would be taxed)

Thanks David, but there are some quite interesting comments on here that all feed into the debate.

Migration is not a race issue.

The issue is whether rapid growth (in Auckland focussed immigration) is the solution to too much rapid growth (in Auckland house prices). Obviously the answer is no, but the media and government are in denial.

Rent caps and other interventions are irrelevant and cause one off adjustments, just like LVRs and any other such RBNZ or tax rules introduced recently. All will fail.

The only thing to stop soaring Auckland house prices is the weight of the prices - the debt servicing levels. Whilst rates are affordable and the cost of ownership might only be 50% more than renting, then the splurge continues until yields fall to below 3 or maybe even 2%.

Until the market falls in on itself (which may be sooner than everyone thinks) then prices will continue to rise.

However even if prices stall for a while it does not solve the problem that every day of the year potentially 70 extra households arrive in Auckland even before considering the natural internal population growth.

This growth is unsustainable, Auckland does not have the land, the space, the infrastructure nor the plan for this growth.

Auckland is full. Sadly no room for more migrants. A change in direction is needed, which includes only bringing in the most needed and employable migrants. [Sorry but crude migrant profiling not acceptable and this extra bit removed. Ed]

Do we know the ethnic %s of immigrants?

Definitely be keen to have tenants required by law to return the property in the same state that they found it when they moved in. Also keen to have tenants supply their own kitchen and fittings. Too many tenants don't maintain things and then complain when they break ( top of the line dishwasher, insinkerator, induction hob all last less than a year with kiwi tenants who then expect the landlord to repair/ replace them. The creative ways that tenants have of destroying things sometimes baffles the mind. ) How does one even manage to jam high quality double glazed and thermally broken windows in an aluminium frame when the whole contraption is less than a year old...

But what about fair wear and tear? ie after some years do you expect a leaving tenant to cough up a new kitchen for you? Surely then your return will be lower?

How the hell do you destroy a hob in a year?

Why do you put top of the line things in?

It was in the first rental property that I purchased, I'd heard that nicer appliances / fittings and properties attracted better tenants :(

Sadly no. But poor looking/ poorly working ones guarantee bad tenants. sigh.

The only real option is to self-insure and pass the cost onto all tenants (wider to keep the cost low).
Commercial insurance is of little use, as it's very expensive (so you have to pass on the cost anyway) and you have little or no control over the tenants beyond a brief history check and face-to-face meet with usually only one of them. Such risk tends to make insurance more costly (for higher risk) and a couple of claims will soon make it unaffordable or unavailable.

A hob should last 10years plus FFS, I stil dont fathom how you bugger one. I would tend to say the tenant loses their deposit for that!


not just a deposit but take them to tribunal for damages (if they're liquid, many tenants prefer not to be).
it's property entrusted to them, depsoit is only to cover a few incidental damages and to get a professional clean to match the professional clean that occured when they moved in. It's not there to cover willful or major damage.

You want to destroy one? Use it to heat the house, don't clean it even, and cook knives for doing cannabis oil. A burn mark on the floor near the hob is a guaranteed sign of that activity. The cooking pot acts as a heatsink absorbing heat without it the hob will overheat.

ah OK.

I don't think that Germany would have the ferals we have. Its a bit like saying that Singapore apartment blocks would be a good idea for NZ.

Germany doesn't have ferals? Have you been to Berlin?

As a renter, my main gripe is this:

Even after renting a property for several years, never missing a payment, and never damaging anything, the rental agency continues to turn up every three months to take photos of what we think of as our house.

It is hard to imagine a more obvious invasion of privacy or anything that screams more loudly "this is not your house. Do not feel at home here!"

Surely after a few years of renting without incident they could stop this invasion of privacy? Particularly given we often have a longer relationship with the house than the property manager who changes every few months.

MAPdruid...some insurance policies actually demand that an inspection has to be undertaken and a time frame is provided.

If you are getting changes in Property managers then the new one will not likely know how good you are as a tenant !!

Personally I am not a fan of property managers.......I think they are more trouble than tenants !!

Property managers are a reliable way to turn what could have been a friendly or at least respectful tenant/landlord relationship into an adversarial one.

Not if you have a good property manager.
It creates a professional buffer between the owner who has personal interest and opinions about their asset and how it should be cared for, and the frequently negligent or occasionally destructive tenant.

Remember Equabs and renters ..... you are covering the insurance premiums and a portion of costs for all the damage that _other_ lazy, non-paying, or vandalising tenants cause. Being a landlord is a _business_, just like a factory or a shop - the Landlord must pay for all the equipment, all the repairs, insurance, compliance, rates, and any work done to the place, as well as damage or empty costs, and still make a decent living/yield. Just like any other business that serves your needs.

We can do "German" prices? no. Just like you won't get US tool or Asian Vehicle or phone prices.

What is the cost for a smartphone at the end of a production line? $1? $0.75? you pay how much.
Seriously someone tell me why Gimmies expect their essential needs (shelter, food) to be at barest cost price? they'll pay $50 to have their hair played with, or $70 to waste time on a video game, $12 for 90 minutes at a movie show, $100 bucks for a concert... but for a safe and watertight place to live worth a large amount of money and lots of services, or for food to keep them alive... they want it for pennies !!

Can you aim me at these houses that are purchased for pennies , your generic comments are exactly that .

Try re-reading. It's the _tenants_ that want the place for pennies, the landlord is expect to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds.

show some of the portfolio numbers (expenses, values) to renters and most of their eyes would just glaze over.
the legal bills for my families trusts (me, parents, overseas siblingss) alone was more than my total _gross_ wage last year (approx 35k), and that's just _one_ expense.

And they're complaining because we want a real estate agent to visit 4 times a year to see the place is in good condition?

A business, you say? Then maybe you should be paying commercial interest rates to your bank. A few things need doing to make landlording a much less attractive thing to do, so that people might invest money in something that is actually productive, instead of pushing house costs out of the reach of far too many, and it would not hurt to start with the tenancy act changing so that those who are financially never going to be able to buy can actually make a home of where they live. If we had had this sort of thing all along, people who rented might not have lost hope, felt they were only living with landlord's rules with always the prospect of the house they were living in,being sold out from underneath them.

Commercial indeed - adjusted for risk. - I take what they offer

It's a legal requirement.

If you really had paid for the house originally and had someone else living in your major asset, (and certainly if you had suffered a few "incidents") then you would understand the need (and that 3 months is a long time).

Also IF you (or "someone") does damage the property one of the things that the Adjudicator is going to want to know is "when was the last time the landlord visited the asset?". If you say oh 6months or more, he will decide you are negligent and it's your fault and that as the victim you should have been more cautious.

Otherwise... you poor poor thing... someone took photos to put on a file

If you _really_ want that "ownership feeling" make a full marketplace offering - nothing says I actually own this place like 15-30 years of paying for mortgages.... otherwise you're just getting the easy bit

MAPdruid- if you really want to feel you own the place the answer is simple. Buy.

And your comment pretty much encapsulates the attitude of this country at the moment. The way houses are rented in this country is appalling, and grew out of how property was rented decades ago, you rented for a few years, often a flat with a few friends, until you got married, then you bought a house pretty soon after that it didn't matter if you were an accountant or the guy driving the rubbish truck there was a house you could afford, and as egalitarian as we were, quite possibly the accountant and the rubbish truck driver may have been neighbours.
Renting short term was the norm, so the tenancy act grew out of that, but now, many will never be ABLE to afford a house, so why should they be penalized and made to feel as if they are merely some sort of slightly unwelcome guest in the house they are living in.
Change must come, either settings changed to make home ownership easier and landlording less attractive or the tenancy act must change to reflect that people need to make a home, even if they are renting.

Well how about you follow _my_ footsteps, and actually go buy some places and rent them out yourself.

Then you can do it whatever way you like.

then you might actually have the _knowledge_ to make statements rather than a one-sided personal wishlist, if wishes were horses beggars could ride. the Tenancy act and Tribunal are massively unfair and unreasonable in favour of tenants.

Almost all landlords _love_ a good tenant, however they must maintain due diligence and duty of care (it's a requirement, what do you think will replace that?) If you feel unwelcome then perhaps you aren't a good tenant, or perhaps your landlord or the property owner had been hurt badly before.

How do you feel when your flatmate leaves you a $300 power bill? How would you feel if 3 of them had done so? Do you realise how much investment the landlord must make to pay 3 lots of $300 ?
If that was your paycheck it was coming out, would you be a bit anxious about the next tenants?

And actually, except for students, long term renting was the norm, as jobs weren't so transient.

The only way for rent costs to come down is (a) better tenants leaving less damage and unpaid expenses/unpaid rent, (b) if the cost of providing the service goes down. (ie houses, taxes, insurance all go down).

the only way house costs will drop if (a) cost of making and repairing/upgrading houses goes down, AND (b) more supply than demand is available.

Yes - if a tenant damages a property (anybodies) or leavings expenses/unpaid rent then it costs the owner to clean things up. Either the the owner pays, or you pay. Better that you pay.

"Furthermore, they suggest the notice period of 42 days should be extended to give tenants more security."

Isn't the notice period 90 days from landlord to tenant and 21 from tenant to landlord?

Isn't it 42 days if the landlord wants/needs the house for his/her own purposes...e.g. to live in.

Oh ok you're right, he just didn't really word it well.

Must be for landlord or landlords family to live in (or emergency repairs, I believe is also permissible)

or if they sell its 42 days too.

Which is interesting considering that the incoming owner has no contract with the tenant... who could even be only in a contract with the rental agency.

Germany is the worst example to use. A vast number of German housing was destroyed within living memory, and a "new" system had to be devised to create genuine affordable housing and renting was the quickest way to get there. Likewise East Germany was incorporated into Germany as late as the 1980's and with that came million upon millions of houses all owned by the State. These two events completely altered the way Germany views home ownership. Eaqub should have studied history as well as economics before rushing to judgement.

He has not rushed to any judgement. He is merely putting forth ideas and possible solutions which is a hell of a lot more than we see from you.

Doing the same thing over and over again is certainly achieving a different result isn't it.

Yo Ed - how about pulling this guys personal insults

Its a nice idea but Germany and NZ couldn't be more opposite. Germany has a cradle to grave social welfare state supported by a ~45% personal income tax base. Their social office even makes individuals pay for their own rest home care at the expense of decedents inheritance (horrors!). They dont have family trusts (horrors!). They're also an industrial powerhouse and a net producer of stuff. Germany's a better place to be poor for sure. NZ's a better place to be rich.

Equaab gonna make sure we get (modern) German incomes too??????
Perhaps they think that East Germans should have brought houses in the FRG when the unification happened?

german cheap prices for materials.

If they love Germany so much .... go there. the sooner the better.

About double NZ wages (in purchasing power terms) while real estate is by and large of a much better quality and about half the price of NZ.

When in Germany, visit the next building supplies store, Bauhaus, Globus, Obi etc. The variety of materials is stunning i.e. not 100% Made in China like in NZ and the stuff is indeed much cheaper, too.

On the other hand, Eaqub would not have much of a chance on the jobs market. They require real qualifications in Germany and in any way they have so many think tanks and the like already, too much competition - he better stays here and makes money with eccentric books.

Germany's rental market is so overregulated that it has impeded sufficient investment for decades leading to chronic housing shortages in key economic hubs like Munich, Stuttgart and Hamburg. How this can be an example of good policy - I dont know.

If ANYTHING German relating to housing is a model then it is the construction standards. Even German cow barns are much better built than an average NZ house. NZ apartment buildings are particularly pathetic. Can hear every fart next door and sometimes even smell neighbors' cooking. This is just not first world. Go to Germany if you want to see what a house is meant to look and feel like. Solid concrete and masonary, good room climate, a minimum 18cm of concrete between you and your neighbour.

Obviously, the authors have no real grasp of they are writing about. Sorry they did not buy in 2009. Then they could have spared themselves the sour grapes now.

Just shows what happens when you let inexperienced economists loose on a subject they know nothing about.
Germany home ownership is one of the lowest at number 43 out of 45 countries.
Romania tops the list at 95.6% home ownership, Australia 67%, NZ 64.8%, UK 64.6%, USA 64.5%..
Therefore the sort of draconian regulations that Eaqub enthuses about would never work in these situations.

I recommend that he should go back to school and do a refresher course.

I am a kiwi living in Germany for 5 years and i can tell you a few facts: The rental laws are a lot stricter than New Zealand, for instance there is no tenancy tribunal so if you have an issue you have to go to court (in German) so not a good way to sort out disputes. Also as a tenant you actually mostly pay for the upkeep, rates and insurance for the property and you have to return it to the state as you moved in meaning you have to paint the house and pay for wear and tear. This all adds up, where as in NZ you just pay the landlord a weekly rent and the rest is for the landlord to pay.

the level of rent reflects that upkeep?

In Germany if your hot water cylinder or heater or something else breaks then you're legally allowed to reduce your rent until the landlord fixes the issue. That sounds pretty strict to me.

Please supply a reference to this law. I was under the impression that the tenants provide those appliances there.

I wonder if the Germans spend as much time on forums discussing their housing issues. This Anglo style boom-bust is inflationary, inequitable and divisive. Housing is the ONLY investment worth talking about because it divides between haves (with a vested interest) and have-nots. Nothing matches it for tax advantages, leverage and gains, to the detriment of something productive, which could improve the balance of payments. Like the Germans do.
Germany $+257,700,000,000
New Zealand $NEG-8,667,000,000
Then maybe we wouldn't have to sell off so much, such as lifestyle and the country. Home ownership is falling. In Germany when the landlord gives you the keys, it’s yours, a home with security of stay & stable rent.

How New Zealand's rich-poor divide killed its egalitarian paradise

Jeepers - I thought we had consultants projecting our international image.for our benefit - what went wrong given this outrageous lapse of attention to detail?

I still remember when they tried to sell the trickle down theory saying it doesn't how much the top end earns in fact more is better as it will trickle down to the bottom paid LOL

yes...but at the end of each year and at the end of your tenancy you get hit with additional charges, say for me was about 2,000 NZD a year additional upkeep and at the end of the tenancy you may be liable say for painting and minor restoration - so anywhere from 1,000+ NZD (if you paint yourself), houses are built better here so are warmer than NZ but heating costs are still $3 to 500 NZD a month...

At the rarefied air where properties sell for tens of millions of dollars, it can take years to unload a property. The California mansion used in Scarface came on the market in May 2014 at $34 million. Recently, the price was dropped to $17.8 million. Lack of liquidity. In the housing market, it’s expected.

Homes, classic cars, art, farmland, a factory… they’re all more or less illiquid assets. Everyone knows it, and so it’s no big deal. Until there’s a bust, and then suddenly it’s a big deal.

Bond markets are supposed to be fairly liquid, with the US Treasury market being the most liquid. Corporate bonds are less liquid. Each bond issue is different, and even in good times, it may take days to find a buyer for a particular bond at a price that won’t kill the seller. But when liquidity dries up – that is, when buyers with liquidity lose interest – these bond markets can seize, and that’s when forced selling leads to a collapse in prices, runs on bond funds, panic, and mayhem.

It's not wrong to reason out renting against buying. The 'landlord' supposedly is saving towards a better future and hedging against his money against currency. Whilst he's/she is toiling to meet the mortgage payments to his 'investment'. he's also taking a risk against loss of rent etc..
The scenario in auckland is the result of house shortages which is caused by the shortsightedness of government, council and due to this, the landlords are the 'culprits'?. For doing only the right thing, ie to save for their future and children?. Is that a wrong thing according to this guy who thinks he knows what is ethical or not?.
Whilst the renters like him are saving and putting their money elsewhere, what consideration is given to those painstakingly save by having another house to invest?.