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Spotlight On The Word ‘Landlord’

The term ‘landlord’ severely limits our association’s scope and is not a good portrayal of the knowledge and ability of our members, writes Sue Harrison.

By: Sue Harrison

31 July 2023

NZPIF from the President’s Desk

Private investors play the highest and most valuable role in the New Zealand housing system. Around 86 per cent of rental homes are supplied by private owners and this is one of the best examples of a public/private housing system in the world.

“Landlord” has been an inexact and overused term by media and politicians to refer to what are actually property investors, most of whom are not directly “landlords” in the way the word is used.

The Residential Tenancies Act defines the term as “landlord, in relation to any residential premises that are the subject of a tenancy agreement, means the grantor of a tenancy of the premises under the agreement”.

So, as investors we have a choice of what use is made of our property and if we choose to offer tenancies. There is far more to being the owner of such homes than managing tenants, and many owners choose to use a property manager to ensure compliance with the act.

When we advocate with politicians regarding changes to the Residential Tenancies Act it is with a view to ensuring that laws made encourage good homes to be available to good tenants. When we provide networking and knowledge opportunities to members it is with a wide range of topics useful to investors.

Key Points

The term “landlord” severely limits our scope and is not a good portrayal of the knowledge and ability of our members. Here’s some of the reasons why:

  • The public view of the word landlord has gone far from the risks and reality of owning rental homes.
  • Many private owners are not acting as “landlords”; they own the properties and use a manager to take care of the tenancies.
  • As professional business owners and investors the term “landlord” is not accurate.
  • The media often uses the word “landlord” to portray the villain in their story.
  • Property investor associations are member groups for a wide range of property owners, including some who self-manage their tenants, acting as “landlord” for only part of their role as owner.
  • The narrative by some politicians and the media portrays landlords vs tenants as adversaries, when they are part of the same system.

In taking the risks to purchase one or more investment properties we are taking on far more than just being a “landlord”. We are also aiming for many outcomes that help our future selves to cope with economic realities and as a self-funded superannuation scheme. It’s not speculating, and short-term gains are not the path taken by most investors.

One of the New Zealand Property Investors Federation’s key functions is to advocate with politicians and government departments for fair rules that not just benefit our tenants, but also encourage aspiring investors to offer accommodation in well managed homes.

Why not join us in our quest and benefit from our supplier discounts and information for serious property investors.

www.nzpif.org.nz or email [email protected].

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