Healthy homes in everyone’s interest - APIA

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Landlords are not as threatened by the advent of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act as has previously been suggested, a new survey suggests.

The Auckland Property Investors’ Association (APIA) has released the results of a survey of 500 of its members and some of the results might come as a surprise.

Survey participants were asked how they expect to be impacted on by 10 different housing policy proposals including healthy homes legislation, debt-to-income restrictions and a capital gains tax.

Not surprisingly, the Reserve Bank’s recent relaxation of its LVR restrictions was the most favoured policy by most landlords.

However, the policies landlords ranked as second and third most favourable were better security of tenure through longer-term tenancies and the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act, which will establish a set of minimum standards for rental properties.

APIA president Andrew Bruce says members' response to the healthy homes legislation is encouraging and shows they are acutely aware that it goes hand in hand with security of tenure.

“As landlords, we understand that it is in everyone's interest to provide a healthy and safe home for our tenants.

"But we want to ensure the Act strikes the right balance between maximising tenants' health without placing landlords under an undue burden that could ultimately distort the rental market with lesser rental stocks and increased rents."

Details of the new standards are yet to be decided.

But Bruce says APIA will continue lobbying for a common sense approach that maximises the potential the Act has to improve residential tenancy across the board for New Zealanders.

The survey also found that landlords are most concerned about the prospects of a capital gains tax, debt-to-income restrictions and the removal of the 42-day notice to terminate.

Bruce says it is interesting to note that, on a 1-10 favourability scale, none of the issues polled were so abhorrent to landlords as to cause them to dump their portfolios.

Rather the survey shows long-term investors remain cautiously optimistic and steadfast in their approach to investing in the changing market, he says.

“These results strengthen our belief that property is not an overnight rags-to-riches story.

“Most of our members have taken a long-term approach to their investments which includes built-in contingencies and mechanisms to absorb additional costs brought on by adverse policies. It is the price of doing business.”

Ranked in order of landlord favourability, the policies the survey looked at are:

1. Relaxation of current LVR restrictions
2. Longer fixed-term tenancies
3. Healthy Homes Guarantee Act
4. Extension of Bright Line Test
5. Limiting rent increases to once a year
6. Removal of negative gearing
7. Ring-fencing tax losses
8. Removal of 42-day notice to terminate
9. Debt-to-income restrictions
10. Capital gains tax

Comments from our readers

On 18 January 2018 at 10:50 pm michaeljakob said:
Decent landlords do not need to be told what to do and what is really offensive is the growing list of demands which are turning rental property into first class hotels. About time the rents went up again. User pays!

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