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Change And Challenge

Change And Challenge

As executive officer Andrew King relinquishes his role at the NZ Property Investors’ Federation, he reflects on past changes and the challenges ahead for landlords.

By: Andrew King

31 December 2019

The Christmas period is a wonderful opportunity to take some time to think about longterm goals. Back in December of 2009, I set a 10-year goal of stopping paid work and starting to travel more and take on new experiences. So that goal date was last month and boy has it come around quickly.

Some of you may already know that I am standing down as executive officer for the NZ Property Investors’ Federation. I didn’t quite make the December 2019 goal, but the EO position has been advertised and we will be interviewing candidates later this month. I will also be looking for someone to manage my cabin business.

It has certainly been a privilege to have been the Federation’s first executive officer. It is a role that has been extraordinarily frustrating at times and punishing as well, yet I’ve loved just about every minute of it. It is certainly going to leave a big hole in my life. I’m hoping to continue as a volunteer with some smaller projects.

A Challenging Time

The last few years have been hard on us all in a variety of ways. Improving the stock of rental properties is a good thing, however tenants will ultimately end up paying the cost of this. I believe that is completely fair, however it does mean that any change we support must provide genuine benefits for tenants and do so in a cost-effective manner.

‘It is a role that has been extraordinarily frustrating at times
and punishing as well, yet I’ve loved just about every minute of it’

Other changes, such as ring-fencing rental property losses, will provide no benefit for tenants but will discourage some people from providing rental property. Policies like this are misguided and a shame as they encourage rental price increases and discourage the provision of more rental properties.

At a time when we have record levels of homelessness, it is incredible that law changes are being driven because private rental providers are seen as a problem to fix rather than part of the solution.

Our view is that providing tenants with tenancy security is a good thing,
however the Residential Tenancies Act proposals mostly provide security to problem tenants and will have no effect on the vast majority of tenants. Security for tenants is most at risk from owners selling their rentals or moving back into them, not from receiving a 90-day notice.

Measures that could actually work for tenants that want a long-term secure tenancy and landlords who are able to provide it could be introduced. The NZPIF will continue to push for this as a real solution to tenant security, rather than restricting 90-day notices and preventing us from ending fixed term tenancies.

So, if you are still on holiday, I hope you are enjoying yourself, but if you feel concerned about changes going on in our industry, take some time to write to your local MP and the Associate Minister of Housing, Kris Faafoi. Tell them about your concerns and your real life experiences.

Make them aware of what it is really like to provide someone with a home and how their proposals will hinder you from doing this.

We will continue to push for good and reasonable changes, however a picture of what it is actually like to be a landlord is something that our Members of Parliament need to see. ■