Reform of The Tenancy Act FAQs

Reform of The Tenancy Act FAQs

  • Won’t this make rentals more expensive?

    Answer

    This is a significant risk in a market where supply is unable to meet demand, and we must address that fundamental issue in order to improve the lives of renters. Here's what TOP will do:

    In order to increase supply, TOP’s tax policy will incentivise holders of empty property to let it out or to sell it to someone who will, as they will no longer be able to rely on capital gains to get a return on that investment. At the same time, TOP's housing supply policy will clear the way for more and denser housing construction by incentivising and resourcing councils to say yes, instead of no. 

  • How will giving away Housing NZ create more houses?

    Answer

    Community housing providers do a great job, and would like to offer their services to more families in need. The only thing holding back the expansion of community housing providers under the current model is lack of equity (capital). With the Housing NZ stock in their possession they would have land and the equity they need to develop it further. They would be able to do this far quicker than Housing NZ. Instead of selling houses as Housing NZ are doing we would expect the community housing sector to develop a mixed portfolio of rentals – including affordable market priced rentals. The unfortunate reality of government owned social housing is that various governments have used them as cash cows, taking income from them without investing in expanding social housing. Community housing providers would not face this problem, and would be better stewards of the government housing asset. Appropriate contracts and constitutions could be used to provide reassurance to all stakeholders.

    For more information on how community housing providers do a better job than government at housing low income people, have a read of this article: http://www.top.org.nz/top_s_social_housing_policy

  • Aren’t you privatising social housing?

    Answer

    We appreciate that the thought of the government giving up ownership of housing stock is a scary prospect, but we would absolutely not be gifting this asset to the private, for profit sector! We would only make such a gift to community housing providers in the not-for-profit sector who have appropriate constitutions and governing bodies to ensure responsible stewardship. No corporate raiding, or cosy back room deals - that would be a disaster! There are many other countries which have taken this approach of transfers to the charity sector, for example Australia and the UK. These have proven to provide a better service to tenants than state owned operators.

     

  • In Germany tenants are expected to fit out the entire house, how will that help low-income households?

    Answer

    This is an element of the German housing culture, but is not part of our policy. Landlords will still be able to let properties with a range of chattels, as long as certain basics are available. 

  • What about accommodation for transient residents like students?

    Answer

    In certain areas short-term rentals will be possible, but they will not be the norm. Regardless, if renters choose to leave a tenancy (e.g. if they finish study and move city) they can still give notice as they currently do. 

  • Under what circumstances will landlords be able to evict tenants?

    Answer

    Non-payment of rent or damage to the property. 

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