The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) and the New Zealand Property Investors’ Federation have today announced that they are joining forces to challenge some of the proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) which were announced by the government at the end of 2019.
Both organisations vehemently oppose the proposed end to the no-cause 90-day notice and the proposal for fixed term tenancies to automatically convert to periodic tenancies.
Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “Given the significant impact the proposed RTA changes could have on the industry, we felt it was essential that the two organisations combine forces to represent the views of both landlords and property managers; and to really outline some of the consequences these proposed changes could have.”
Andrew King, Executive Officer, NZ Property Investors’ Federation says: “Both organisations are extremely concerned that the proposed changes to the no-cause 90-day notice will mean that owners effectively can’t control who lives in their property and in some cases this could impact directly on neighbours. We believe this change will cause investors to leave the market, pushing up rental prices even further for tenants who are already struggling to pay the rent.”
Both organisations’ CEOs are imploring the Minister to listen to their members’ views as collectively the two organisations represent a significant portion of investors and property managers around the country.
Norwell says: “We understand that the RTA needs to be reviewed, but it’s imperative we get the balance right between tenants’ rights and the rights of the owners of investment property. The proposals outlined by the government, particularly in relation to the 90-day notice, feel as if they’re eroding the rights of the owner too much and we feel more balance is needed here. Our preferred approach would be to see higher exemplary damages for landlords who abuse no-cause terminations in order to penalise them and act as a disincentive.
King concludes: “With so many changes aimed at putting people off investing, such as changes to negative gearing, the ban on letting fees and LVR restrictions, many people are not looking at providing rental property. Feedback from many of our members is that the changes to the 90-day notice provisions could be the final straw that actually sees them exit the market.”
Both organisations are happy to support the proposal to limit rental increases to once a year, to ban rental bidding and the proposals around making rental properties safer and more liveable.