Press release - NZ renters are not more vulnerable

31-Jul-2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

NZ renters are not more vulnerable

Auckland, NZ, 31st July 2014 - The Auckland Property Investors’ Association (APIA) rejects characterisation by the New Zealand Institute Of Economic Research (NZIER) of New Zealand being ‘one of the least renter-friendly regimes in the OECD’.

‘The NZIER takes an euro-centric view of residential tenancy which simply bears no cultural reference to the ordinary Kiwi renters.’ says Andrew Bruce, President of APIA.

By alleging that renters are denied the security of long term tenancies, the NZIER grossly underplays the attraction of transitionary tenures. ‘Yes, tenants renting executive-style properties usually are after longer fixed-term agreements. However, for your run-of-the-mill renting, tenants like to be able to move more quickly in response to job opportunities and changing personal circumstances. It is out of touch to suggest that tenants do not value this type of flexibility.'

The NZIER claims that the short notice requirement in this country makes it too easy for landlords to terminate tenancies. ‘That is incorrect,’ says Bruce, ‘The Residential Tenancies Act requires landlords to give 90 days notice to terminate in most instances, while tenants only need to give 21 days notice. To me that put tenants in a more flexible, and powerful, position than their landlords.’

Although renters need landlord consent to make minor property customisations, the Residential Tenancies Act forbids that consent to be unreasonably withheld. In pointing out that some European countries make it easier for renters to alter their homes, the NZIER has failed to understand that rental properties are supplied on a different basis in New Zealand. Bruce explains, ’You are simply not comparing apples with apples. The reason why minor alterations are the norm in some European countries is because many rental properties do not come with carpets or kitchen units. That is not the case here. With proper communication, you will find that most NZ landlords are amenable to work being done on the property if it means keeping a good tenant on the property for longer.‘

While the APIA continues to welcome productive conversations with the tenant community on ways landlords can provide even better accommodation services, it rejects any suggestions that NZ renters are vulnerable and disadvantaged.



Contact: 
Madhu Narsai
media@apia.org.nz
19 Mackelvie Street 
Grey Lynn 
Auckland
Ph: +64 9 360 2376


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