House rental law before Parliament 'protects antisocial tenants' – property investors' group

While the Government's intention may be well and good, the New Zealand Property Investors Federation says new rental laws before Parliament actually gives power to bad tenants.

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Andrew King says the law that’s currently before Parliament could put some people off investing in property. Source: Breakfast

The Government intends to push through its Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill under urgency this week.

It describes its proposed new law as ensuring a "fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords".

However, New Zealand Property Investors Federation's Andrew King told TVNZ1's Breakfast "what this does is it protects the two per cent of tenants who are antisocial".

"It actually gives them permission, this bill says that from now on any minor antisocial behaviour is going to be acceptable, the landlord can do nothing about it," he said.

"Every single day you could be having parties, the landlord can do nothing about it. It even says you can have serious cases of antisocial behaviour twice every three months, eight times a year.

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Property owners say it will now be harder to get rid of the few tenants who are ratbags. Source: 1 NEWS

"That's going to have a dramatic effect on communities. At the moment it's 12,500 people and that effects probably 60,000 neighbours around country."

However, Robert Whitaker of Renters United told Breakfast he's happy with the bill and thinks it should stay as it is.

"I think it's totally reasonable that if your neighbours are complaining about you to your landlord that you know what that is, you know, what's being said and you have the opportunity to respond to that," he argued.

He also disagreed that two per cent of all tenants were "antisocial".

"There's an entirely separate mechanism in the law for dealing with criminal behaviour so if something's happening that's actually criminal then the landlord has the right to end that tenancy.

"What we're talking about is, like Andrew said, parties or supposedly antisocial behaviour and I actually think most of the time those things are best sorted out between neighbours just as they are if you happen to own your house rather than rent it."

But Mr King said while some landlords may move out of property investing, he says it's more likely the law would put off new people getting into the market.

"At the moment we have a rental crisis in that we don't have enough rental properties. The entirety of this bill will actually hinder them from wanting to become landlords and providing the rental properties that tenants really need," he said.

"If you want to provide security of tenure for tenants we actually have advised that there needs to be a new tenancy type, a long term secure tenancy type that actually means that landlords couldn't evict a tenant by selling the house, they couldn't sell the house.

"We think that would provide real security of tenure. It's a better way of doing it than this. This bill just protects antisocial tenants and it's going to effect all the neighbours."