Not the time for rent freeze calls

The Auckland Property Investors Association is asking tenancy groups to refrain from politicking after the anniversary weekend floods.

Thursday, February 09th 2023

Renters United has asked the Government to implement a rent freeze for tenants.

The association (APIA) says renters groups should be focused on supporting tenants who have been adversely affected by the floods.

“Renters United rent freeze call is a mistaken belief that landlords are being encouraged to hike up rent in an opportunistic fashion,” association general manager Sarina Gibbon says.

“To be clear, we have not called on landlords to increase rent and we won’t be either. Not only is it distasteful, doing so could potentially have implications under the Commerce Act,” she says.

“We continue to encourage landlords to work with their tenants humanely, pragmatically and expediently under these difficult circumstances.”

As to whether a rent freeze is warranted, Gibbon is unconvinced. Only now is visibility being gained into the extent of the floods’ damage and how many tenants are adversely affected. Now isn’t the time to politick for ill-conceived feel-good policies. Let’s get the data points onto the board, keep a cool head and come up with a policy response to these floods that actually works.”

She says most of the inquiries the association has fielded are about protecting and preserving tenants’ interests. “Our members are far more preoccupied with keeping their tenants safe and comfortable, getting their properties remediated, rehousing tenants, and abating rents appropriately than they are about where the market is headed and what that means on prices.”


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