31 Jan 2018

Govt to help renters with letting fees ban

10:50 am on 31 January 2018

Banning letting fees and allowing landlords to increase rents just once per year are two of the ways the government wants to make life easier for renters.

Phil Twyford

Phil Twyford wants to modernise tenancy laws. Photo: RNZ

Housing Minister Phil Twyford is planning to bring in legislation that would reform the Residential Tenancies Act by the end of the year.

Mr Twyford told Morning Report the main problems stem from an issue of supply. He said the government would not be looking at introducing rent control policies but would look at similar measures.

Currently, landlords are able to increase rent prices once every six months. The government wants to look at restricting it to once per year.

Mr Twyford said it was time to modernise our tenancy laws, arguing New Zealand renters have fewer rights than any other country in the western world.

He said he wanted people to have longer, more settled tenancies rather than having to move once per year when landlords raise rents or cash in their houses.

He said the only lasting solution to renting problems is a deeper supply of housing which the government is tackling with the KiwiBuild initiative.

The government aims to have 16,000 houses built around the country in the next three years, including many in Wellington where renters are facing short supply and high rent increases.

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