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The Pencilsword: What about the renters?

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8 comments

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Vanessa Mapp2 days ago

It will be an election issue if everyone who is affected makes it one. Yell loudly! Vote! I strongly believe it will have to be stopping all foreign ownership of NZ property without residency, a requirement to pay tax in NZ if you own property here & a capital gains tax to stop speculation. On top of this obviously stopping sales of State houses & a housing Warrant of fitness scheme with hefty penalties would help. I've been a property developer, so i know exactly how our market is working at the moment across a lot of levels, & it's a disaster.


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fauxabout 1 hour ago

What's stopping rent being lowered through construction of more dwellings? A high level of demand (as illustrated here) should drive construction, doing much to address these problems.

This said, I do support there being a well enforced minimum standard for rental accommodation.


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Luke Bulger4 months ago

I like your question, faux - perhaps it's exactly the right one to ask. For years now, I have thought that the answer to your question would be that decisions were made to put "green belts" around our big cities, and to have fairly restrictive and onerous resource consent processes, to stop urban sprawl for the protection of undeveloped areas and fertile farmland and things like that; and that the rate of population growth that we have had lately therefore can be expected to drive the sorts of changes that we're seeing like more generations under one roof, more intensive housing, homelessness, etc. Does that sound right? I haven't followed these issues very closely.


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John Stowell3 days ago

Whatever the measures taken to solve our current housing crisis in Auckland, it will be a slow job and the fact is inescapable that for many years renting will be the norm for many.

In some countries, renting has been the norm, at least for those living in towns, more or less for ever. The good ones have in place strong controls on the rental market, rent controls limiting rent increases, legal obligations for both landlords and tenants, limiting the grounds on which tenant can be evicted, etc. This present government will not do anything to control a market unless it becomes a serious election issue where they become afraid of losing lots of votes. Under the present system the only option is to mobilise renters to vote for any party which would promise to implement serious control of the rental market.

Longer term, there is the opportunity, through the adoption of a written constitution, to alter the composition of parliament by, perhaps, adding a second house, selected by lot from the population at large, beholden neither to party nor to big money, and so free to consider the good of the community at large. The second house, a citizens' assembly, would need real power to initiate legislation, and that of course would be a major fight with the entrenched power of the house of representatives, which is to say largely the cabinet and the PM. But it would probably be a worthwhile fight.


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Anneabout 4 hours ago

I have sent in a post a few minutes ago.

Yes! lets use all sensible measures to get families into their own homes, out of cars and squalid mouldy damp rentals urgently then do the same for the old and young.. And of course we should have high standards for rentals. After selling our small business we had some old rentals and met some interesting and sometimes sad people but that was never an excuse for allowing our tenants to be in overpriced substandard unhealthy accommodation! Landlords, you have a responsibility to your tenants to do what's right by them.


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Tom Petchell3 months ago

The problem with the idea "Why does [home] have to be something you own?" is the issue of alterations.

Most landlords will withold bond at the least if you make modifications to their property without consultation, and very few are keen on the idea if you do consult them. Sure, some may be okay with you improving the property (putting garden beds into a section of bare lawn for example), or even, if you're really lucky, painting/decorating to suit your taste. However many more aren't okay with something so simple as putting a nail in the wall to hang a painting - god forbid you make this space your own. Yes, 3M and others offer solutions to get around this specific problem but these are typically quite expensive and only useful in particular situations/climates. But I digress.

My point is: in the vast majority of current situations you cant own your space if you don't own your space (pun fully and gleefully intended).


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Anneabout 5 hours ago

My husband and I bought our first home in 1961 through the State Housing Agreement. This meant we cashed in the Family Benefit for our first two children to reach 18 months old. The amount was our deposit on a brand new house on a quarter acre section. The calculation of amount given to us was set on the assumption that these children would have gone to school till 18, a rare event then. Building firms like the local one here worked out plans for sound 3 bedroom houses that fitted the Govt criteria and building code and we could have chosen 4 different plans with a well established building firm with 40 gangs of tradesmen hard at work. We chose to go to a private builder who did an excellent job.

These sound strong wooden houses are are being lived in today and although they did not have double glazing, an expensive luxury then, or insulation, we wore wool had open fires and chip heaters to keep us warm. Life was more ecologically sound with home grown veges, local produce, heaps of preserves, chooks and cheap mutton in the freezer. Some men added wild pork venison and fish in their spare time. Marriages were stable, divorce hard and rare and regarded as a disgrace. Usually one divorcee left town. Built in compulsory insurance meant that if the father, the breadwinner, died, the family was left with a debt free home.

It breaks my heart to see NZ families, with both parents working, living in cars or dreadful damp mouldy homes.

Sadly, the Family Benefit which was paid to the mothers was allowed to diminish by successive Govts until it was eventually wiped.


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Keith Morris3 days ago

Well the chickens are coming home to roost.

The government removed building depreciation as a tax deduction so that reduced the capacity of investors to build more places.

Net migration is running at record levels - shortage of accommodation is the cost of providing "international education" and lots of medium skilled workers.

One solution for quality & longer tenure would be to to offer a much higher accommodation supplement when the property meets a strict WOF and is guaranteed to be available or 7 or more years.


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