The Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) and the NZ Property Investors Federation (NZPIF) announced on Sunday that they are partnering up to challenge some of the government’s proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA).
The proposed changes, which were announced at the end of 2019, are highly controversial and are causing huge concern among investors.
Both REINZ and the NZPIF vehemently oppose the proposed end to the no-cause 90-day notice and the proposal for fixed term tenancies to automatically convert to periodic tenancies.
REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell says the proposed RTA changes could have a significant impact on the industry.
“So we felt it was essential to combine forces to represent the views of both landlords and property managers and to really outline some of the consequences these proposed changes could have.”
NZPIF executive officer Andrew King says both organisations are extremely concerned that the proposed changes to the no-cause 90-day notice will mean that owners effectively can’t control who lives in their property
In some cases, this could impact directly on neighbours too, he says.
“We believe this change will cause investors to leave the market, pushing up rental prices even further for tenants who are already struggling to pay the rent.”
Both Norwell and King are imploring the Minister responsible, Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi, to listen to their members’ views as collectively their organisations represent a significant portion of investors and property managers around the country.
They understand that the RTA needs to be reviewed, but it’s imperative to get the balance right between tenants’ rights and the rights of the owners of investment property, Norwell says.
“The proposals outlined by the government, particularly in relation to the 90-day notice, feel as if they’re eroding the rights of the owner too much and we feel more balance is needed here.
“Our preferred approach would be to see higher exemplary damages for landlords who abuse no-cause terminations in order to penalise them and act as a disincentive.”
In King’s view, the many policy changes aimed at putting people off investing – like changes to negative gearing, the ban on letting fees and LVR restrictions – mean many people are not looking at providing rental property.
“Feedback from many of our members is that the changes to the 90-day notice provisions could be the final straw that actually sees them exit the market.”
However, both organisations are happy to support the proposals to limit rental increases to once a year, to ban rental bidding and the proposals around making rental properties safer and more liveable.
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