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Are Some Policies Trying To Kill Renting In NZ?

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Former Property Institute CEO Ashley Church wrote in One Roof in late July that the current coalition government’s policies around investing in housing:

“Are so aggressively anti-landlord that you could be excused for wondering if there is a deliberate plan to destroy the private rental sector.”

We’d like to give our perspective.

Mr Church wrote in Oneroof.co.nz on July 22 that most rental accommodation in NZ is owned by the private sector and he estimated:

  • 440,000 rental homes owned by mum and dad property investors have collectively saved the country tens of billions of dollars over the past 40 years because rentals alleviate expectation on the government to provide social housing.
  • 40 percent of Kiwis live in rental accommodation and this number has been consistent over several census periods (this isn’t quite accurate – renters are increasing in NZ while home ownership decreases)
  • For every additional 10,000 people coming into the country, 4,000 will require rental accommodation.

One thing we certainly agree with Mr Church on: because our occupancy per dwelling numbers have been dropping, fewer people live in a Kiwi home than they did 20 years ago, so we certainly need more roofs for people’s heads.

Mr Church’s piece said the current administration has done the following:

  • “It has introduced changes to tenancy laws which have moved toward regulation of rent increases and made it even more difficult to evict troublesome tenants.
  • “It has introduced a suite of significant new compliance requirements to ensure that rental properties meet minimum health standards. These requirements will take effect, for landlords, in 2021, but the Government has given Housing New Zealand an extra two years to comply, exposing a worrisome double standard.
  • “It went some distance toward imposing a capital gains tax on property investors
  • “It has extended the bright line test to five years to capture “speculators”, a move which demonstrates ignorance of the difference between speculation and property investment.
  • “It has enacted legislation to ‘ring fence’ tax losses made on rental investments – a move which will end up shutting many new property investors out of the market.
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Please feel free to contact us if you need rental property management advice.