Thursday, 11 February 2021

New rules terrible for renters

“For three and a half years the Labour Government has been pushing housing further away from those who most need it, and from today that challenge will be amplified,” says ACT Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“Warnings that increased business risks and costs being piled onto landlords by changes to the Residential Tenancies Act would result in an increase in rents were blithely ignored.

“The median weekly rental has already increased $70 under Labour, almost 20 per cent, and today’s changes won’t do anything to assuage that rise.

“Rather than improve the lot of renters the Act’s changes set up a real us-and-them scenario, with landlords painted as the bad guys.

“There will be greater stringency on who meets a landlord’s sniff test of risk, given the restrictions on ending tenancies the new rules bring in.

“This will affect those more vulnerable the most, as landlords pass on costs and raise the bar for who gets successful tenancies.

“Meanwhile, the Government seems to recognise all this, but won’t obviously be willing to admit it.

“Their language on housing has changed entirely, with the focus being on providing as many social housing places as possible, no doubt aware of the fact they’ve just made it much harder for people to rent in the private sector.”