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A waiting list of 20,000 proves Govt rental property failure

A state-house waiting list that ballooned from 5844 to 20,000 in three years is all the evidence anyone needs that the Labour-led coalition government’s rental property policy has been a massive failure, Tenancies War spokesman Mike Butler said today.

Newly-released figures show 19,438 eligible applicants were waiting for public housing at the end of July, an increase on 918 from the month before. See https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300112537/election-2020-public-housing-wait-list-nears-20000-applicants

If housing was in crisis in 2017, as Labour/Green politicians would have had you believe, look at what they did when they were in control, Mr Butler said.

An ill-conceived compliance regime for rental properties has added massive costs to each tenancy, he said.

Self-defeating changes to tenancy law have further bound the management of rental property in red tape that means it will take months to sort out issues to do with unpaid rent and ant-social behaviour, he said.

Massive fines that could total $100,000 have turned the business into a compliance nightmare and the government is making lame excuses its collective lack of common sense, he said.

We warned the Government that ill-conceived changes to tenancy law and standards would reduce supply and increase rents, he said.

That is exactly what has happened, creating a gut-wrenching new normal for tens of thousands of renters nationwide, Mr Butler said.

New Zealand’s 290,000 residential rental property owners must use their two votes in this election to bring some sanity back to the business of owning and managing rental property, Mr Butler said.

Stop the War on Tenancies is a group that since October 2018 has been highlighting the failure by the Government to create sound policy and law for residential rental property.

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ACT’s stand against war on landlords welcomed

ACT’s promise to reverse this year’s Residential Tenancies Act changes and temporarily prohibit new regulations is welcome, Tenancies War spokesman Mike Butler said today.

ACT leader David Seymour said: “I’ve seen some stupid policy before but it’s hard to exaggerate the stupidity of Labour’s law changes. They’ve directly disadvantaged the very people they were trying to help. We need to stop the stampede of landlords leaving the residential tenancy market.”

Mr Butler said that rental property owners must have restored to them their property rights which includes the right to expect rent paid as agreed, the right to expect respectful behaviour, and the right to end tenancies if they so wish.

Under the current law, if a tenancy goes off the rails the owner and the Tenancy Tribunal are so tied up with red tape that issues will take months to resolve, if at all, Mr Butler said.

The regulations on insulation, heating, ventilation, and moisture would function better as guidelines rather than excuses for massive fines against landlords, he said.

The requirement for extra insulation above the 2016 requirement is not based on evidence and the only impediment to heating is not the availability of heaters, it is the cost of electricity, he said.

ACT joins the National Party in offering relief for rental property owners who have been treated as scapegoats for years, Mr Butler said.

The Green Party has promised a rental property warrant of fitness, checks on all properties before sale for health and safety, and a review of the building code for warmth and dryness.

The Greens have openly stated that they want to drive Mum and Dad landlords out of the market. They want to replace 540,000 existing private rentals with European-style apartment complexes in which tenants provide stoves, cabinets, curtains, and carpets.

Labour policy adds nothing to its changes to residential tenancy law and standards. Neither does it boast about it. Labour prefers to promise 8000 more public and transitional housing units and work on its homelessness action plan.

NZ First and New Conservatives were silent on rental property.

New Zealand’s 290,000 residential rental property owners must use their two votes in this election to defend their property rights, Mr Butler said.

Stop the War on Tenancies is a group that since October 2018 has been highlighting the failure by the Government to create sound policy and law for residential rental property.

Glad to see Collins counter the Green war on landlords

About 290,000 voting residential landlords would welcome National leader Judith Collins’ confirmation that she would tear up the new tenancy standards and law, Tenancies War spokesman Mike Butler said today.
National has labelled the new measures “landlord bashing” and promised a regulation bonfire in which, if elected, they would roll back all the Coalition Government’s measures except for rules around insulation standards
The changes to tenancy law and standards were sold as caring, but few were aware that some politicians want to drive private landlords out of the market, Mr Butler said.
Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said during the second reading of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill: “We absolutely do need to and have been ramping up the provision of public housing. In this not even three years yet, in this term alone of Government, we have built more public and State homes than any term of Government has since the 1970s, and that is what will help to mitigate the availability and the incentive for property owners to move on and to get out of owning property for rental purposes”.
Davidson confirmed that the Green Party does not want private landlords to help ease a current rental property shortage and prefers vastly extending government-owned housing ghettoes, Mr Butler said.
With a Green MP chairing the select committee considering the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, and a Labour-Green majority in Parliament, we were only ever going to get policy in which agenda and politics trump evidence, Mr Butler said.
You don’t need a $3000 heat pump to heat a small lounge to above 18C, and the Residential Tenancies (Smoke Alarms and Insulation) Regulations 2016 already provides for the optimum level of insulation (see attached), he said.
And most people know that you do have to open the windows to air out your home so that it doesn’t get damp and mouldy, he said.
The Labour-Green mantra invoking cold, damp homes diverts attention from the reality that for nine months of the year the New Zealand climate is warm or hot and it is only for the three months of winter that we have to turn a heater on or light the fire.
Alleged advice by Andrew King of the NZ Property Investors Federation to wait for the election result before spending thousands on heating and insulation that may not be required is just common sense even though King claims he was misquoted, he said.
This political war on landlords has reduced the availability of housing and hiked rents, hurting the people that the Labour/Green parties pretend to protect — those who rent their homes, Mr Butler said.
Stop the War on Tenancies is a group that since October 2018 has been highlighting the failure by the Government to create sound policy and law for residential rental property.
See https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12361468 and https://www.landlords.co.nz/article/976517305/greens-propose-more-landlord-regulations and https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/combined/HansDeb_20200804_20200805_48

Urgency used to hide unworkable tenancy law changes

Jacinda Ardern’s “kind” government rather unkindly wants to push through under urgency this week amendments to residential rental tenancy law that are both unworkable and vicious, Tenancies War spokesman Mike Butler said today.

If the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill is passed as is:

  1. Section 55A would allow two weeks of unpaid rent every 90 days. This breaches every tenancy agreement which requires rent to be paid as agreed.
  2. Section 36 would permit two separate instances of anti-social behaviour every 90 days. This also breaches every tenancy agreement which forbids anti-social behaviour.
  3. Section 32, which would end contractual terminations by owners, means that the only ways for owners to end tenancies are to renovate, move into, or sell the property.
  4. When considering termination for a serious breach, Tenancy Tribunal adjudicators would be legally obliged to put the personal circumstances of a tenant above the rights of the owner and neighbours, and above fairness and acceptable behaviour.
  5. Schedule 2 would impose massive fines that are far from fair and reasonable. Seventy three of the 87 proposed penalties target owners

The current Government appears to believe that it can fix housing problems by tinkering with the law. The Government appears not to understand that high demand and the diminishing availability of rental property is the problem.

Bear in mind, the current government failed to produce the 30,000 affordable houses in three years that it promised at the last election.

Winston Peters should show that there is at least one adult in this rickety coalition government and help the National Party and Act vote against these unworkable and vicious amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act.

Stop the War on Tenancies is a group that since October 2018 has been highlighting the failure by the Government to create sound policy and law for residential rental property. Much policy has only increased rents and disadvantaged both tenants and owners.

The bill may be read at http://legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2020/0218/latest/LMS294929.html



Mike Butler

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