“Those saying landlords shouldn’t be able to end a tenancy are the worst enemy of vulnerable tenants,” says ACT’s Deputy Leader and Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.
“Making it harder to get rid of a bad tenant, as Labour has done, sounds wonderful, but it does not actually help tenants. Labour don’t understand that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If you make it hard to evict a bad tenant, landlords will pull back from giving a vulnerable tenant a chance. They can’t afford for it to go wrong.
“I’ve heard from landlords who are now super cautious about taking on a tenant unless they have a good history. Who would give someone with a bad history a second chance? This is why there needs to be serious reform to tenancy laws. It is about values, people should be responsible for their actions, whether good or bad.
“As ACT has previously committed to; we will reverse the interest deductibility changes, re-instate the 90-day no-cause termination as landlords and neighbours shouldn’t need to put up with harassment and it means landlords are more likely to take a chance on a tenant, scrap the brightline test, and return the right to charge a letting fee to ensure the various costs of putting a house on the rental market aren’t added on to rents.
“It’s bad policy that increases costs for all New Zealanders during a cost of living crisis. Landlords have more costs that are inevitably passed on to renters. This is one of the reasons New Zealand has all time high rental costs.
“When I recently spoke to landlords about the challenges they’re facing many say they’re reaching a position where the costs are outweighing the benefit. Everyone loses in this situation, especially renters who are displaced and stuck in a shrinking rental market. One landlord told me “I am now left with a very difficult decision to make. Do I sell the rental property and displace the tenants, or do I put up the rent to a value to meet my costs which I don’t think is fair on the tenants?”
“Hammering landlords isn’t going to help build more houses, it does the opposite. ACT is proposing genuine solutions that will make a tangible difference and lead to more houses being built at lower prices.
ACT would also:
- Incentivise and resource councils to provide infrastructure for new homes by sharing half of the GST with them
- Scrap the Resource Management Act, replacing it with a new Urban Development Act that respects existing property rights while making it easier to increase housing supply
- Automatically allow building materials approved by jurisdictions with high-quality regulators and similar seismic situations to ours (e.g., Japan and California) to be used in New Zealand
- Require councils to accept any ‘equivalent material’ certified by MBIE for use in building projects
“In the case of GST sharing, I have a Member's Bill that is soon to be debated in Parliament. The Government should support it to create real change in housing immediately.
“The Government has targeted Mum and Dad landlords and investors with new housing taxes and regulations. ACT will bring real change to housing policy that ensures costs are kept down and more houses can be built."