The bill introduced to Parliament in August, covers about 42% of the residential tenancy market, and involves compulsory registration and licensing for individual property managers and their organisations, training and entry requirements, practice standards, and a complaints and disciplinary process to be administered by the Real Estate Authority.
It does not include private landlords, Kainga Ora or registered community housing providers.
Residential Property Managers Association (RPMA) chairman David Pearse says Bishop indicated at the association’s recent annual conference he was open to discussing changes to the bill.
He says while the association is for regulation of property managers, it believes the bill as it is written is hugely bureaucratic and doesn’t improve the quality of service to tenants or property owners.
The RMPA has also been vocal in recommending private landlords be included in the bill. Of the submissions received on the previous Government’s original proposal, 182 submitters thought private landlords should be included in the legislation.
When the Bill was first proposed the RPMA suggested the then Government follow the Rent Smart Wales system.
All immediate rental landlords in Wales have to register providing personal details, the addresses of rental properties they own, and the details of those responsible for the letting and/or management activities at the rental property. A landlord registration lasts for five years and details are open for scrutiny through a free public register.
The RMPA lobbied the Labour Government for a similar system but it fell on deaf ears. “Evidence shows that in countries where all landlords are regulated there is high compliance with the law,” says Pearse. “It makes a far more stable environment and lifts the standards of rentals and landlords.”
The exact number of landlords in New Zealand is unknown and is difficult to calculate, he says. “Nobody really knows the state of the market. Designing a regulatory system specifically for property management companies and employees will make it hard to incorporate mum and dad private landlords into it in the future, he says.
Private landlords say they don’t need to be regulated as they are handling tenants’ rent directly and are hardly going to rip themselves off and if tenants have complaints they can have them heard through the Tenancy Tribunal, which can penalise landlords.
The RMPA also opposed the Real Estate Authority administering the complaints and disciplinary process. It says the Housing and Urban Development Ministry will be far better as it operates in and understands the rental market through its Tenancy Services division.
New submissions on the Bill have already been sent to Bishop by the RMPA. Pearse says Bishop indicated he will study them and take the trajectory of the bill from there. Whether Bishop is appointed Housing Minister or not, the association will be seeking a meeting as soon as possible with the new appointee.