The Government’s claim it is striking a balance between the interests of landlords and tenants has been further rubbished in Parliament today, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“New Zealand landlords are set to lose out if the Labour-led Government goes ahead with its proposed changes to the Residential Tenancy Act.

“Under the proposed changes, landlords are limited to increasing rents once a year, they will need to give 90 days to terminate a tenancy under all circumstances, and the changes will end ‘no cause’ tenancies.

“National believes good tenants who pay their rent on time and take care of their property should have their leases protected, but these changes will make it impossible for a landlord to move out difficult tenants who trash their homes.

“Housing Minister Phil Twyford continues to miss the mark with his tenancy proposals, as he fails to look into unpaid rent.

“Persistent unpaid rent makes up about 72 per cent of total applications to the Tenancy Tribunal. But if the ‘no cause’ tenancy provision is removed landlords won’t be able to evict tenants who aren’t paying rent.

“Minister Twyford confirmed today the proposed changes will allow tenants to keep pets and make modifications. This would mean tenants would have free rein to modify their houses, including painting walls or adding as many shelves as tenants want.

“The discussion document comes on top of the prohibition of letting fees which is currently being pushed through Parliament, further restricting the rights of landlords.

“We know the changes will just drive more landlords out of the market, something we are seeing already. Trade Me has already confirmed the number of rentals on its site is down 3 per cent.

“We need to protect both landlord and tenant rights. But with these changes, it seems like tenants will be favoured well above the Mum and Dad landlords who have put their hard earned savings into an investment property.”

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