2 Nov 2018

Renters 'really really happy' letting fees will be banned

12:02 pm on 2 November 2018

Renters have won their campaign against crippling letting fees.

House  with "For Rent" sign in front

Photo: 123rf

Parliament passed legislation yesterday that will ban them from next month.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said this could put up to $47 million back into the pockets of Kiwi families each year.

Renters United spokesperson Robert Whitaker said he's very happy the fees are being removed and that renters will finally be free of them.

Letting fees were only charged when there was a property manager, which is only a proportion of the renting market, Mr Whitaker said.

Those who had to pay the fee were generally charged a week's rent as a fee when they started a new tenancy and often they were also charged when changes were made to a tenancy, he said.

Mr Whitaker said renters could already be paying thousands of dollars at the start of their tenancy due to rent in advance and a bond.

"Renters are often forking out thousands of dollars, especially if they're in a situation where ... it's a big house, a four or five bedroom house, they might be paying well in excess of $2000 or $3000 including this letting fee."

Mr Whitaker said the group now wanted to tackle the issue of security of tenure.

"We think that renters deserve to be able to stay in their home as long as they want and be part of their community, if they're paying their rent and meeting their obligations - so that's our next big campaign."

He said the move to abolish letting fees would help with that because it had been a commercial incentive for property management companies to turn over tenancies, because every time they did that they could charge a new letting fee.

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