"Renting should not be second-class option, it should be a way of life"

"Renting should not be second-class option, it should be a way of life"

"Renting cannot be a second-class option for people. Renting has to be a valid way of life. Around the world we've seem places with really strong rights for tenants have worked out really, really, well."

Source: Stuff

Green co-leader Marama Davidson says the Government focused too much on KiwiBuild at the expense of fixing the rental market.

Davidson is meeting with Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi on Wednesday night to discuss the matter, following a new push from the real estate industry to regulate property managers.

Labour campaigned on a major change to rental laws but has only produced legislation to eliminate letting fees and make rentals higher quality.

It has proposed ending "no-cause" tenancy terminations, making rent price increases more transparent by requiring them to follow a formula set in tenancy agreements, and allowing pets and modifications to rental properties.

Then-housing Minister Phil Twyford sent out these ideas for consultation in mid-2018, saying the law would be in place in 2020, but almost a year on from consultation ending no draft bill has been produced.

Davidson, who launched the proposals with Twyford, said this wasn't good enough.

"It's not happening fast enough, at all...It hasn't been the priority so far," Davidson said.

"Honestly, KiwiBuild has been the priority - I think that is very clear."

"These are urgent changes we can make. And for far too long the market and has had power and people haven't."

KiwiBuild, Labour's flagship housing policy, has had extreme teething pains, and has only delivered 286 homes thus far. New housing minister Megan Woods "reset" the policy after nine months of limbo, removing all targets and changing some of the buyer restrictions.

The 2018 census figures showed 527,853 households were renting, roughly a third of all households.

Davidson said this number was only going to go up and renting had to be a "valid way of life".

"Renting cannot be a second-class option for people. Renting has to be a valid way of life. Around the world we've seem places with really strong rights for tenants have worked out really, really, well."

She welcomed a new campaign led by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand to increase regulations on property managers.

Faafoi told Stuff on Tuesday he was hoping to introduce a bill by the end of the year.

He said it was important to make sure that the Government got "all parties" onboard and that he had been meeting with the sector to get his head around the issue.

National's housing spokeswoman said the slowness was no surprise as NZ First and the Greens probably disagreed on the policy.

"I think there's real problems with the Government getting anything together that needs a deal with the Greens, Labour, and NZ First," Collins said.

She said any changes were likely to see rents raised as landlords got out of the market.

Source: Stuff