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Rules blamed for higher rents

Two out of five landlords are specifically looking to cover costs resulting from regulatory changes


1 May 2023

The Healthy Homes Standards and tenancy law changes have been blamed for higher average rents of more than $500 a week.

Of 700 landlords answering a recent Kantar survey commissioned by the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ministry, 47 per cent had raised rents by more than $20 a week to the end of November.

Of those landlords who had not raised rent in the past six months, 23 per cent were considering increasing rent in the next three months.

Key reasons for 41 per cent of landlords considering a rent increase include a desire to cover increased costs, for 51 per cent it is matching market rates, and for 57 per cent it was raising rents after a year of no increases.

Two out of five, or 39 per cent, are specifically looking to cover costs resulting from regulatory changes.

Just over four in 10 landlords, or 42 per cent, took the opportunity to increase the rent when their tenants changed. About six in 10, or 61 per cent, of these landlords increased rent by more than $20 a week.

However, the desire to maintain good landlord-tenant relationships and encourage tenants to stay means some landlords kept rent levels the same.

Of investors, 93 per cent of landlords invest in existing property, with 8 per cent investing in new builds and 2 per cent investing in build-to-rent property.

The low maintenance of new builds and build-to-rent properties are the biggest reasons for 69 per cent of investors buying new and 64 per cent of build-to-rent. They are also seen as cheaper or more convenient than alternatives.

Interest deductibility motivates 30 per cent of landlords to invest in new builds, while a shorter bright-line period motivates 22 per cent.


Three out of five, or 60 per cent of landlords personally manage their rental property/properties and just over two out of five, or 42 per cent, use a property management or real estate company.

Another 5 per cent use an individual property manager. Overall, the survey shows these results have remained fairly consistent over time.

Cost savings drive 65 per cent of landlords to self-manage, along with wanting to be more hands on (54 per cent like to talk directly with tenants; 50 per cent like to be hands on generally).

Of landlords using property managers 64 per cent use them for their regulatory/compliance expertise, 49 per cent to save time and 46 per cent to encourage a distant relationship with tenants. These reasons have remained mostly consistent with the previous three surveys.


Fewer landlords have bought a rental property in the past six months, a drop of three points since May 2022, which is statistically significant at the 90 per cent confidence level.

Four per cent of landlords have sold a rental property in the months since the end of November, which is consistent with the previous three surveys.

Reasons for 46 per cent of sales relate to landlords needing to improve their own financial situation, 29 per cent changes to tenancy laws, and 25 per cent the gap between mortgage costs and rent.

About 22 per cent were considering selling their property in the next six months from the end of November last year. Regulatory changes continue to motivate some landlords to sell: 26 per cent because of the tenancy law changes and 20 per cent due to the new Healthy Homes Standards


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