Three-strikes tenancy proposal no help

A three-strikes proposal to end tenancies offered by the New Zealand Property Investors’ Federation is of little use to either owners or tenants, Tenancies War spokesman Mike Butler said today.

Federation executive director Andrew King, last week said that faced with the Government axing the 90-day no-cause tenancy terminations, owners should be allowed to invoke a three strikes policy against renters by giving two initial warnings, then a 90-day notice period.

Mr King cited a survey of 529 owners that showed only 36 per cent had used the 90-day no-cause termination. He said that having their home sold is the main cause of tenants feeling insecure, not 90-day without-cause notices.

“Three strikes would only delay the inevitable end of the tenancy and send a message to miscreants that they could create turmoil twice without consequence before the owner could do anything effective”, Mr Butler said.

Those not involved with renting would have no idea of the stress of having to deal with a tenant who has gone rogue. And the Government wants to remove from owners the right to end a tenancy, he said.

Eighty percent of rental property owners have just one rental property. This means that while a tenant has gone rogue such an owner’s total investment has become a liability, Mr Butler said.

Further Government-caused loss of control over a property that already consumes time and money to manage means that many owners are deciding to sell, which is putting pressure on tenants right now, he said.

Rogue tenants are relatively rare, with 95 percent of tenants paying the rent on time and looking after the property as their home, Mr Butler said.

The New Zealand Property Investors’ Federation does not necessarily represent the owners of 588,700 rental properties in New Zealand, he said.

“If the sale of rental properties is the main cause of tenant insecurity, Housing Minister Phil Twyford should think long and hard before inflicting any more turmoil on the sector, Mr Butler said.

The group Stop the War on Tenancies aims to empower both owners and tenants in the face of ongoing Government ineptitude with housing.

See: Landlords want three-strikes rule to evict tenants at