At least Chris Bishop sleeps in a well made bed

Written By: - Date published: 8:26 am, April 17th, 2024 - 85 comments
Categories: national, national/act government, tenants' rights - Tags: ,

RNZ: Government announces pet bond policy for renters

The government has announced a two-week pet bond and obligations for tenants to pay for damage their animals cause in a bid to make renting with an animal easier.

It intends changing the Residential Tenancies Act next month in a bid to give pet owners more choice when trying to find a rental.

Housing Minister Chris Bishop and his dog, Ladyhawke, made the announcement alongside ACT leader and Regulations Minister David Seymour.

“He was confident tenants wouldn’t mind paying extra (set at a maximum of two weeks’ rent) if it meant their pet could move in too.”

Tenants already pay a bond to cover damage beyond wear and tear. Bonds can be up to four weeks rent. As a guide, the current mean Auckland rent is $610 per week. That’s up to $2,440 bond. Add an extra 50% of $1,220 pet bond, equals $3,660. There’s no housing crisis, poverty, large numbers of people living below the poverty line in New Zealand. We all sleep in a well made bed, right?

The announcement was all so cute with the dogs and the smooth PR. But where did this come from? Oh look, property investors. NZH in May last year: Tenancy Tribunal pet ruling sparks fears landlords won’t be able to stop tenants owning animals

The rulings stated the Residential Tenancies Act does not contain any law banning tenants from owning pets and hence clauses barring animals are not automatically enforceable.

That’s led the NZ Property Investors Foundation lobby group to get legal advice as they seek to ensure no-pet clauses remain valid, while Renters United is keen to see no-pet clauses banned.

Having a decent home is a human right. For people that have pets, finding rental housing can be challenging. Doubly so for those on low incomes or who are cash strapped. Higher returns on property investment shouldn’t take precedent over decent home rights, community stability, and having enough money to live on. Given the rate of capital gains in the past 20 years, I’m really wondering what it is about New Zealand that is so mean spirited we think non-home owners should pay for the privilege of living with a dog or cat or guinea pigs.

85 comments on “At least Chris Bishop sleeps in a well made bed ”

  1. Gosman 1

    Do you support the idea that Renters should be able to force their landlord to accept them having pets? Is there a limit to this? If a "Crazy cat lady" wants to have 30 cats in her rental should she have an automatic right to do so?

    The idea of the bond is to encourage landlords to rent to pet owners. If you want to force them to do so you are likely going to have less rental properties available as those that don't want to do this will use their properties for other purposes.

    • weka 1.1

      No Gosman, having 30 cats isn't what I meant at all. Get a grip.

      The point is, as always, that NZ weights rights to property investors ahead of the right to a decent home. If we put the right to a decent home in the centre and designed from that, we could have rental culture in NZ that works for tenants and landlords. We don't have that currently.

      The idea of the bond is to encourage landlords to rent to pet owners.

      Wealthy pet owners. What about the others?

      If you want to force them to do so you are likely going to have less rental properties available as those that don't want to do this will use their properties for other purposes.

      really? What would they do with their properties instead?

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        Air BNB, Personal holiday home, or they could just sell them. The last one helps people with the funds to buy a house but not those who don't have those funds or are just looking for a rental for personal reasons.

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          AiBnB and holiday homes are already an issue that needs addressing. In a crisi, regulation could sort that out.

          Selling frees up houses from landlords that can't cope with human rights. If the house gets bought, then the buyer's house becomes available. The house might be sold as a rental. It's not rocket science.

          What really needs to happen is a mass social housing build that keeps houses out of the private property market. That would be the game changer.

    • Descendant Of Smith 1.2

      Many councils have regulations to limit the amount of cats in a house eg Malborough is limited to four without a permit, Palmerston North three. If they don't then they should and you need to take it up with them.

      Your 30 cat crazy cat lady is just misogynistic stereotyping.

    • Michael P 1.3

      Young children, cats (claw's on carpets, wallpaper, etc) and drunk adults are far more damaging and destructive to rentals than the vast majority of dogs.

      In saying that, I'm pretty sure there are landlords out there who won't rent their properties out to people with young children. (Without it being obvious that that is what they are doing of course.)

      When my beautiful girl was still alive I had three different rentals where I just didn't tell the property managers / landlords that I had a dog because I had run out of options. I figured I would just suffer the consequences if / when they eventually found out and it was better to have somewhere to live in the meantime.

      Funnily enough only one of those 3 ever actually found out I had a dog. She came over to discuss (and possibly to tell me the dog goes or we both go). After about 10 minutes she went from being a bit nervous around dogs to being completely and totally gaga over my girl (an English Bull Terrier). She actually ended up talking the property owner into letting us stay.

      The trouble with this ridiculous nothing policy is that the majority of landlords / property managers simply don't want any pets, especially dogs, staying at the property. A couple of weeks extra bond isn't going to change that at all.

      Furthermore, what sort of damage are we talking about here that costs over a thousand dollars to fix? I'd like to see some sort of data on how many rentals are damaged by dogs and what the dollar costs of such damage is. I'd wager the vast majority of dogs, certainly the registered ones, are well house trained and don't destroy stuff.

      I say this because my dog never damaged anything other than her own toys (Ok, I admit that when she was a pup she did turn a brand new pair of my work boots into a pair of steel caps. just the steel caps, nothing else left of the boots…..) and neither do any of the dogs owned by pretty much any dog owners I know. (and there are a lot of them)

  2. Ad 2

    I draw the line at dogs.

    And they need to convince me about cats.

  3. Traveller 3

    Weka, have you ever owned a property that has suffered damage from a tenant? Or a tenant's animal? In some circumstances the amount of bond available is no-where near enough to cover the reinstatement costs. This extra bond may make some landlords more comfortable with agreeing to tenants owning animals. I hope that is the case.

    • Descendant Of Smith 3.1

      Oh so you think renting properties should be risk free – fuck you already get billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks…..

      Over 30 million dollars per week in Accommodation Supplement alone. When is enough? Maybe you'd like the tax payer to subsidise your other investment decisions as well – oh that's right we did – South Canterbury Finance…….

      Sell your rentals, make the capital gain – the one you don't have to pay tax on if you don't want the risk.

      • weka 3.1.1

        💣💥

      • Gosman 3.1.2

        Seems you want to see more homelessness in NZ then.

        [stop trolling. You’re in premod now – weka]

        • Descendant Of Smith 3.1.2.1

          Why where is the house going?

          • Gosman 3.1.2.1.1

            It is certainly not going to many renters who can't afford a bond for pets. If they can't afford that they can't afford a deposit to buy a place and hence they will have less options available to them.

        • weka 3.1.2.2

          mod note.

      • Traveller 3.1.3

        That's an entirely irrational response, that simply repeats the misinformation so often peddled about landlords. Of course being a landlord isn't risk free, but like anything, landlords are entitled to mitigate that risk. Tenants with animals constitute an additional risk, and a costly one at that.

        • Descendant Of Smith 3.1.3.1

          I rented for years with animals who never did any damage whatsoever. Trained them not to. Have and animals in my own house – dogs and cats at moment – they also have done no damage to the property. One cat did try sharpening their claws on a wooden table leg – a water pistol soon stopped that.

          Animals per se are not the problem.

          And what mis-information?

          Millions of dollars in subsidies each week tick
          Untaxed capital gain tick
          Bailout of SCF tick.

          The facts are is that you have all competed against each other for rental properties and driven both price and rentals up. You have been aided and abetted by successive governments who reduced supply through bulldozing state houses, not increasing supply and refusing to allow AS to be paid for council housing ie reducing competition and increased demand through immigration. You were given beneficial tax breaks including offsetting your losses against your other non-related income for years.

          Many of you bought at high prices (FOMO) and low interest rates and ended up with high mortgages as a result which you now need help with. You were quite happy to profiteer on the massive imbalance between supply and demand through capital gains.

          We've seen home ownership rates plummet, poverty, the return of slum landlords as a result.

          You chose to play that severely loaded game – some of us could have but chose not to. You could have been advocating for more state housing to keep up with demand instead of taking advantage. You could right now willingly sell to a first homebuyer at a good price.

          The disdain is not for landlords but for economic settings that have led us back here. We did not need to be in this place.

          • Traveller 3.1.3.1.1

            You sound like a responsible tenant. You represent the majority in my experience, but landlords are able to mitigate against the bad ones.

            The misinformation is in comments like "you already get billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks…..". Landlords don't get subsidies. If you're referring to accommodation allowances, you're clearly uninformed. Accommodation allowances are paid to tenants and relate to the tenants circumstances, not the landlords. Landlords bear the cost of interest, rates, maintenance etc, all of which have increased significantly in recent years. There are no subsidies there.

            You make some valid comments about government policy, but most of your comment is anti-landlord vitriol. It’s no better than watching an episode of Renters.

            • Descendant Of Smith 3.1.3.1.1.1

              The supplement was deliberately introduced to move people into private rentals and to reduce both state housing and home ownership. It is indeed a subsidy to landlords.

              It has also been quite obvious that when the rate of supplement is increased many landlords put their rents up by the same amount – ignoring the fact it is only a 70% subsidy.

              The Accommodation Supplement was introduced in July 1993 as a part of radical change in welfare policies announced by then Finance Minister Ruth Richardson in 1991 in her so-called ‘mother of all budgets’. This budget cut welfare payments as well as introducing a universal housing subsidy which was intended to be ‘tenure neutral’. Previously The Treasury had criticised the then existing mix of housing support programmes suggesting that these tended ‘to bias households’ tenure choice by emphasising home ownership over renting’ It recommended a general housing allowance which would eventually make state housing all but redundant given that it would be paid at the same to all low income households regardless of their tenure or landlord.

              • Traveller

                "The supplement was deliberately introduced to move people into private rentals and to reduce both state housing and home ownership. It is indeed a subsidy to landlords."

                The subsidy doesn't go to the landlord. It has nothing to do with the landlords circumstances.

                "It has also been quite obvious that when the rate of supplement is increased many landlords put their rents up by the same amount – ignoring the fact it is only a 70% subsidy."

                Do you have any actual evidence for that? Because the studies I've seen say you're wrong, including this: https://www.motu.nz/assets/Documents/our-work/population-and-labour/individual-and-group-outcomes/Accommodation-Supplement-Exec-Summary.pdf

                "We find that increases in allowances led to small increases in rental payments. Just over one third of the increase in the Accommodation Supplement and related payments was absorbed by rent increases. This implies that almost two thirds of the increase in housing subsidies benefited recipients in the form of higher after-housing costs incomes."

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  That report uses averages and doesn't quantify volumes. Landlords that did increase are offset by those who didn't. I advocated for several people locally whose rent went up by the increase reported in the media and managed to get their rent reduced so the increase was at least only 70% of the supplement increase. The landlords genuinely thought that if that it was a 1:1 subsidy. My mother's landlord was told by the agency that managed his property that they should put the rent up by the same amount as the subsidy increase at next review. I have no doubt they were telling that to all their landlords.

                  The other problem with that Motu study is that it used a shift in boundaries and compared rents post boundary shift. In that instance the rents had already moved up which is why they were being added to the higher boundary.

                  A boundary shift to adjust AS to already higher rents isn't anywhere near the same thing as an across the board increase.

                  You deliberately ignored this.

                  The disdain is not for landlords but for economic settings that have led us back here. We did not need to be in this place.

                  I’d also add that due to the lack of increasing maximum rates that AS is playing a smaller and smaller part in the proportion of actual rent. I can only assume that this is deliberate as a way to exit the subsidy at some point.

                  • Traveller

                    The change in boundary relates to the timing of the policy change. And of course it is averages, that's how we measure impacts across a population. I would also note that the findings of the review were welcomed by Carmel Sepuloni at the time (“Long-term trends show no evidence of rents for accommodation supplement recipients increasing faster than overall rents for new tenancies following the Families Package changes,") Accommodation supplement not fuelling rent rise – report (1news.co.nz)

                    You might also want to look at this link ps://www.treasury.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2023-08/htwg-what-drives-rents-nz-national-regional-analysis-aug2023.pdf that SPC posted below. That report found "The primary finding from our study is that income growth and relative supply and demand of dwellings have been the key drivers of rents in New Zealand over the past 20 years."

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Averages are a poor way however of measuring impacts on individuals and can lead to quite erroneous assessments.

                      The timing is relevant. That research was done specifically because there was a boundary change in that area and in effect is measuring whether there were further increases after they were included. The rent increases had already occurred.

                      Research done on the increase in AS across the country is a completely different ball game.

                      We all now know that supply and demand is the largest driver. It has outstripped most of the impact of other factors. Increasing AS maximums would only fuel further increase. You're now trying to argue that non-increases mean there is no impact. It also doesn't measure increases to existing tenancies – most people are not new tenants. You can't increase rents for new tenants can you? It is a major problem for rent statistics – only measuring new tenancies. Not one of the people I advocated for with the landlord would have been in that data.

                  • Traveller

                    "Averages are a poor way however of measuring impacts on individuals and can lead to quite erroneous assessments."

                    Averages are the only way we have when making claims across a population.

                    "Increasing AS maximums would only fuel further increase."

                    As the research shows, not by much if at all.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Averages are the only way we have when making claims across a population.

                      No we don't. It is for instance wages use both average and median and quartiles. Ranges and actual numbers, percentages/proportions.

                      There is a common saying in statistics: “If your head is in the oven and your feet are in the freezer, on average, you feel just fine.”

                  • Traveller

                    "It is for instance wages use both average and median and quartiles."

                    You weren't contrasting averages and medians, you were contrasting averages and individuals.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      "It is for instance why wages use both average and median and quartiles."

                      I missed the why. I have to head off to work now.

        • Kay 3.1.3.2

          Tenants with no pets or kids- a fully employed working couple (read: "good" tenants) ended up doing $25,000 worth of damage to my Mum's rental unit. Did they not constitute an additional risk?

          The point being, how can any landlord in advance, be able to predict the 'risk' posed by any potential tenant? Based on the said scenario, all bond, for EVERYONE, must be set at minimum 4 months rent, right?

          • Traveller 3.1.3.2.1

            No, that would be unattainable for most people, and also landlords can take out insurance to cover some of the cost.

            • Kay 3.1.3.2.1.1

              Yes, it would be unobtainable, so it would never happen. But my point remains- how do you know that tenant with the kids or pets is a bigger risk to your property than anyone else, and why should they be penalised?

              • Traveller

                "how do you know that tenant with the kids or pets is a bigger risk to your property than anyone else"

                Let's stay with pets. I know from experience. There are a host of reasons why dogs in particular represent a higher risk, including noise issues with neighbours, damage from scratching, digging and toileting, residual smells are just some examples.

                • Michael P

                  Again, I bet anything you like that your bad experience isn't the norm.

                  Noise – A tiny minority of dogs are nuisance barkers. Many dogs will bark if someone knocks on the door, etc, but that's a good thing.

                  Scratching – ?? You mean cats?

                  Digging – Apart from a couple of breeds, dogs that do a lot of digging generally do it from boredom. The majority of dogs don't dig. Regardless digging a hole in the back garden doesn't require hundred's of dollars to fix!

                  Toileting – Most dogs as stated are house trained and responsible , loving dog owners take their pets for decent walks every day where the dogs do their business. I didn't even have to house train my girl. The first time she went number 2's, she went outside to do it. None of the dog owners I know have any problems with their dogs toileting inside.

        • Michael P 3.1.3.3

          "…the misinformation so often peddled about landlords…"

          Says the person peddling misinformation about dogs.

          Again, where is the data on all of this extra damage caused by pets. (And I mean the majority of pets, not the exceptions)

          • Traveller 3.1.3.3.1

            Misinformation about dogs? Why do you think landlords are reluctant to take on tenants with dogs? Have you ever owned a rental? Or a dog?

    • weka 3.2

      Traveller, have you ever rented a property where the landlord refused to refund the bond and you have to take a case to the Tenancy Tribunal to get back the money you need for the bond in the next rental?

      Maybe the Blam Blam Blam reference was a bit subtle, so let me spell it out. Whatever justifications NACTF and property investors have for this policy, it is by default prejudicial against the lower socioeconomic classes. But thanks for reinforcing NZ's antipathy to the decent home human right.

      • Gosman 3.2.1

        The last Govt's policies around rentals were prejudicial against the lower socioeconomic classes. Many of them couldn't keep up or afford the higher rents. Hence why we had a massive increase in the numbers of people in emergency accommodation.

        • Traveller 3.2.1.1

          Is it just me, or is there generally an irrational hatred of landlords here? I've been both tenant and landlord over many years. I've advocated for both at mediation and the tenancy tribunal and I've seen my share of rogues on both sides, but my overall experience is that the vast majority of tenants and landlords just want to do the right thing.

          • Kay 3.2.1.1.1

            There's also the 'hatred' of tenants by certain interest groups and politicians, so it goes both ways. It's been a masterclass in divide and rule, for years now, setting both sides against each other. Well done to the politicians, interest groups (on both sides) and the media for encouraging it.

            The fact does remain though, there is a serious power imbalance, and until adequate public rental housing is achieved (I'm not holding my breath), total peace on the matter cannot happen.

            • Traveller 3.2.1.1.1.1

              I agree. I am all for a combined public and private rental provision that meets the needs of our changing population.

          • AB 3.2.1.1.2

            Is it just me, or is there generally an irrational hatred of landlords here?

            It's probably just you. What you see on this site is neither hatred nor irrational. There is no hatred of landlords. Some of my friends are landlords and they are decent enough blokes. What is disliked by some on this site is landlordism as an economic and social relationship. There are two main reasons for that:

            • it's an asymmetric relationship in terms of the power wielded by each party – which is (or should be) illegitimate between supposedly free citizens
            • the economic & social consequences tend towards the enrichment of one party through capital gain and the permanent precarity of the other as houses become investment vehicles always priced beyond their means. The resulting wealth disparity cannot in any way be described as 'deserved' through superior effort or talent or the social value created

            The important thing to remember is that none of this is, at its root, personal.

            • Traveller 3.2.1.1.2.1

              Thanks AB. I hope that is the case.

            • gsays 3.2.1.1.2.2

              Thanks heaps AB for articulating that so well.

              Way more digestible than I would have been. I, too, have close friends who landlord and are decent people.
              .

              I have plenty of scorn for the pollies, too gutless or self interested to change the only game in town, renting to each other.

              Because of the precarious nature of some tenants, it hinders the building of family, of community

              Every property in a portfolio is one less chance for others to build some security and have a turanga wae wae/place to stand.

        • weka 3.2.1.2

          yeah, Gosman, I didn't vote for Labour. What was your point exactly? That successive neoliberal governments have fucked over renters? I agree. At least Labour tried to mitigate that rather than throwing petrol on the fire.

          • Traveller 3.2.1.2.1

            Weka, Labour tried, and I believe they had good intentions. However, the reality is that their policies drove up landlords costs at a time when they also failed to address the market supply/demand imbalance.

            NZ is increasingly going to be a nation of renters. It's an international trend that as a nation we are a follower not a leader. We need better approaches than the kind of demonising of landlords and tenants that so often characterises these discussions.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 3.2.1.2.1.1

              NZ is increasingly going to be a nation of renters. It's an international trend that as a nation we are a follower not a leader.

              Perhaps we are a "fast follower", or maybe an overtaking follower wink

              In this list of countries by home ownership rate, NZ is 15th from bottom, with 55 countries having higher rates of home ownership than us.

              Of course that table isn’t up-to-date. Doubt NZ will be overtaking Nigeria any time soon, but if we were to 'follow' any lower, whose interests might that serve?

              Involuntary tenants really are cash cows, and landLords, like farmers, are milking it. Just my opinion.

              Edit – in this list, NZ has the 12th lowest home ownership rate. and about 35 countries have higher rates.
              https://tradingeconomics.com/country-list/home-ownership-rate

            • Drowsy M. Kram 3.2.1.2.1.2

              Good (land)Lord, in this 2024 list, NZ is in 179th place out of 196 countries.

              https://ceoworld.biz/2024/01/28/ranked-these-are-the-countries-with-the-most-and-least-home-ownership-rate-2024/

              NZ is more like a leader than a follower in any race to the bottom – but why?

              Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed.” – Einstein

              • Traveller

                It's interesting that you frame declining home ownership rates as a 'race to the bottom'. Is it time to change our attitude towards home ownership? (moneyandyou.org.nz)

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  It’s interesting that you frame declining home ownership rates as a ‘race to the bottom’.

                  Is it? Maybe financial security isn't as big a deal as it once was, but (for me) true home ownership represents a level of security that I would prefer for every Kiwi family.

                  What I don't get is why some people feel the need to own more than one home, when Aotearoa NZ has a long-standing housing crisis – good Lord, John Key was banging on about it in 2007, and he wouldn't be the first.

                  Key: Speech to New Zealand Contractors Federation
                  [21 Aug 2007]
                  Over the past few years a consensus has developed in New Zealand. We are facing a severe home affordability and ownership crisis. The crisis has reached dangerous levels in recent years and looks set to get worse.

                  This is an issue that should concern all New Zealanders. It threatens a fundamental part of our culture, it threatens our communities and, ultimately, it threatens our economy.

                  The good news is that we can turn the situation around.

                  That is good news, imho – let's get home ownership back on track wink

                  • Traveller

                    "Maybe financial security isn't as big a deal as it once was, "

                    Home ownership doesn't necessarily equate to increased financial security. The view that it does tends to be amongst the generation I am in (at the end of the boomers), but younger ones (including my children) see things quite differently.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      I don’t understand how true (mortgage-free) home ownership wouldn’t increase a family’s financial security, but fair enough – maybe your children will see things differently when they're your age.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      lol. My kids can't wait til they own their own home. They'll just end up doing it at a much older age because of the ridiculous rents they pay – in some cases for cold draughty hovels and the student loans the baby boomers didn't have.

                    • Michael P

                      Of course younger people think differently. However most of them as they get older will change their views and will absolutely see home ownership as security.

                      The stress (and associated inflammation) that would dissolve from renters if they were able to own their own home is incalculable but massive IMO.

                      Having somewhere to live that is your home, where you're not paying half of your income on somebody else's mortgage, where nobody can ever kick you out, you've always got a roof over your head, no moving all the time, etc,etc,etc would be indescribable for many renters.

                      Financial security doesn't matter in comparison to what the life security would be of owning your own home. But if you own a home freehold then of course it provides financial security, simply by the fact you don't have to worry about paying rent, you can borrow any money you want to if you own a property freehold.

                      The glaringly obvious thing is though that you don't see many wealthy (financially secure) people paying rent.

                    • Michael P

                      "Home ownership doesn't necessarily equate to increased financial security."

                      FFS of course it does. Especially if you own the property freehold. Paying no rent means increased financial security compared with paying half your income in rent every week. Add to that the increased financial security from owning such a valuable asset as opposed to paying for somebody else's asset.

                      If you own assets, especially an asset as valuable as a residential property then of course you have more financial security than someone who doesn't own assets.

                    • Traveller

                      "If you own assets, especially an asset as valuable as a residential property then of course you have more financial security than someone who doesn't own assets."

                      I didn't equate not owning property with not owning any 'assets'. People are making different choices about how they invest their money.

                      "Paying no rent means increased financial security compared with paying half your income in rent every week. "

                      What you're forgetting is that mortgage interest rates are well over 6%. At an average house price in Auckland of a shade of $1m, that's $60k in interest alone, which is close to double the rental on a 2 bedroom unit.

                  • Traveller

                    "I don’t understand how true (mortgage-free) home ownership wouldn’t increase a family’s financial security"

                    Mortgage free home ownership has almost only been for a few. Funnily enough, my son's putting off buying a house because he so debt averse.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Mortgage free home ownership has almost only been for a few.

                      Depends what's meant by '"a few" – a bit like the reckon that NZ is "a follower not a leader" in falling rates of home ownership.

                      New Zealand’s other looming housing crisis [30 Nov 2022]
                      In 1986, 87% of those in their 60s were homeowners, with mortgages paid off, and for the most part were not in paid work. In 2018, 80% of those in their early 60s were homeowners, but 1 in 5 were still paying off mortgages, 20% paying rent, and many still in paid work.

                      The balance of home ownership [for retirees] is expected to shift to 60% homeowners and 40% paying rent by 2048 – up to 600,000 people.

                      Once upon a time many NZ properties were owned outright, and that's been falling – NZ might be a (fast) follower in this regard.

                      Those times (of higher home ownership rates, and higher percentages of properties owned mortgage-free) were fairer times, imho, but now our CoC govt is intent on waging war on the poor, rather than poverty, and is bent on more welfare for the wealthy.

                      I don't know how this plays out for most Kiwis (time will tell), but I reckon not much beats the financial security of owning your own home outright in retirement.

                      Can’t help wondering where the money has gone – follow it, I reckon.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Has he ever been exposed to the real vagaries of the rental market i.e. living away from home in a different town, in a low paid job or as a student, not in one of dad's rentals?

                      A few years of that might learn him a little.

                      And too if I know I'm getting inherited wealth it is easy to be risk averse. When I was looking to buy a house a well-off friend of mine couldn't understand why I was getting a mortgage and not just buying it outright. She was quite bewildered at first.

                      In her family there was no memory of anyone not owning their own house going back many generations on both sides.

                      Four generations ago my ancestors were dying in a poorhouse. My parents were the first generation to own their home on my mothers side. My grandfather owned a homebuilt shack that still had an outside toilet in the 1970's.

                      There's no question at all that inherited wealth enables home ownership. Renting simply enables someone else's home ownership and wealth.

                    • Traveller

                      "Has he ever been exposed to the real vagaries of the rental market i.e. living away from home in a different town, in a low paid job or as a student, not in one of dad's rentals?"

                      Yes. He has been away from home for about 3 years now, and for at least the first 18 months of that worked in hospitality.

                  • Traveller

                    "Depends what's meant by '"a few""

                    You mentioned a 'family's financial security'. I took that to mean with children at home. For most people, being mortgage free with children still at home is more than a stretch.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      For most people, being mortgage free with children still at home is more than a stretch.

                      Yes – and less common than it used to be?

                      https://www.cliffsnotes.com/tutors-problems/Sociology/53891751-A-broad-inclusive-definition-of-family-is-a-group-of-individuals/

                      I prefer a broader view of families that includes childless and/or retired couples – even a widow or widower might be considered to be living in their family home.

                      Our family didn’t have to move often or far – another increasing rarity, or relic of fairer times – no longer an option for many belonging to the burgeoning precariate class.

                      From Crisis to Transformation: Accelerating the Transition to a Sustainable and Equitable Future
                      [24 Feb 2024]
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                      Or our CoC govt could cut services and throw landLords a big bone.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      That is moronic and a self perpetuating argument.

                      Without inherited wealth then both children and mortgage and low earnings would happen for most people while young. The notion that someone would be mortgage free at that point in life is non-sensical.

                      To suggest that mortgage free families was meaning that particular subset is just selective and weird.

                    • Traveller

                      "To suggest that mortgage free families was meaning that particular subset is just selective and weird."

                      I think you need to read back through the comments, specifically when DMK saud "but fair enough – maybe your children will see things differently when they're your age."

                  • Traveller

                    "I prefer a broader view of families that includes childless and/or retired couples – even a widow or widower might be considered to be living in their family home."

                    Sure, but I'm thinking more in terms of stages of life. Being mortgage free when you've had 30 years working life (say in your 50's) is realistic. In the intervening years, ideally we're moving towards that and building equity in our home.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      In the intervening years, ideally we're moving towards that and building equity in our home.

                      yes And “building equity” or “being mortgage free” are increasingly remote options for an increasing proportion of Kiwis – but why?

                  • Traveller

                    "And “building equity” or “being mortgage free” are increasingly remote options for an increasing proportion of Kiwis – but why?"

                    Housing affordability in New Zealand plummets to all-time low | Newshub

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Housing affordability in New Zealand plummets to all-time lowyes

                      So what is being done to improve housing affordability for families aspiring to own their own home?

                      Asking particularly on behalf of the 50% of Kiwis seated to the right at the table below. How might they compete successfully with, say, cashed-up landLords/investors seated at the other end of the table?

                      Less? Unacceptable!Unpalatable – – UNTENABLE

                      https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/16-08-2022/the-side-eyes-two-new-zealands-the-table

                  • Traveller

                    "Asking particularly on behalf of the 50% of Kiwis seated to the right at the table below.

                    The cartoon is clever but inaccurate.

                    Properties per Landlord – Official Information Statistics (aataccounting.co.nz)

                    "…80% of landlords owned just a single rental property, almost 97% owned between 1 and 5 rentals, and in the whole of New Zealand only 1,300 (less than 1%) own more than 20." (And that last figure includes property management companies. Labour claimed 346 landlords owned 200+ properties, but official data can prove only one – NZ Herald)

                    How might they compete successfully with, say, cashed-up landLords/investors seated at the other end of the table?"

                    How do you know they are 'cashed up'? That would seem to run counter to the framing of opposition to returning interest deductibility to landlords, wouldn't you think?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      The cartoon is clever but inaccurate.

                      I see you’ve cleverly avoided commenting on my questions. Maybe the cartoon is about more than just landLord properties – yep, as far as I can tell landLords don't even get a mention.

                      https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/16-08-2022/the-side-eyes-two-new-zealands-the-table

                      Back to your comment @3.2.1.2.1 that kicked off our convo:

                      NZ is increasingly going to be a nation of renters. It's an international trend that as a nation we are a follower not a leader.

                      Yet, according to the table in this link, NZ appears to be leading 178 nations, and following a mere 17 in a race to the bottom of rates of home ownership – wouldn't you agree?

                      https://ceoworld.biz/2024/01/28/ranked-these-are-the-countries-with-the-most-and-least-home-ownership-rate-2024/

                      And, coming at it from another angle, according to the information in this link, NZ has the 9th highest percentage of its population renting 'their' homes. So, once again, NZ appears to be leading (far) more countries than it is following.

                      Countries Where People Rent Their Homes
                      There are a total of 15 countries across the globe in which over 30% of the population rent their homes.
                      [Switzerland, Hong Kong, Germany, South Korea, Austria]
                      The other countries in which over 30% of their population rent their homes are Japan at 38.7%, Denmark at 37.3%, the United Kingdom at 36.5%, New Zealand at 36.25%, United States at 36.2%, France at 35.9%, Canada at 33.5%, Netherlands at 32.3%, Australia at 30.9%, and the Republic of Ireland at 30% in respective order.

                      All of which rather begs the question – what is the basis/angle for your comment @3.2.1.2.1? Just a reckon? Tbf, ‘reckons’ do seem to be coming thick and fast(-track) at the moment.

                  • Traveller

                    I see you’ve cleverly avoided commenting on my questions.

                    That’s a bit naughty of you. I answered your questions, and even quoted them in my response.

                    “Yet, according to the table in this link, NZ appears to be leading 178 nations, and following a mere 17 in a race to the bottom of rates of home ownership – wouldn't you agree?

                    That’s a snap shot, not a trend. And I’d question the numbers in your link. It may be methodological differences, but for example, your link has the Hong Kong home ownership rate at 36.79. According to Home Ownership Rate – By Country (tradingeconomics.com), HK’s home ownership rate is 51.5%.

                    “All of which rather begs the question – what is the basis/angle for your comment @3.2.1.2.1?

                    That we are becoming a nation of renters. Your own data confirms that. And sometimes by choice (The rise of New Zealand’s renters by choice | The Spinoff).

                  • Traveller

                    Agreed, but characterising NZ as "a follower not a leader" in such a trend seems inconsistent with our current 9th place – wouldn't it be more accurate to say NZ is in the vanguard of this trend?

                    My point is that our current position doesn’t necessarily represent how change is happening over time. I’ve had a look back over some of the home ownership stats tonight, and to be honest it’s hard to make a definitive case either way. On that basis, I’ll withdraw the claim that we’re following the global trend, simply because I can’t prove it.

                    “My view is that, ’voluntary’ renters aside, any further increase in the percentage of Kiwis who are tenants is undesirable, because renting Kiwi-style is contributing to the already significant wealth inequality in NZ society, illustrated by that clever cartoon.”

                    I understand your point, but that inequality has arisen due to disproportionate increases in house prices when compared to other forms of investment. In 2002, median house prices were 23% above the inflation adjusted base (with a base year of 1992). (New Zealand median house prices (in NZ $) (1992=100) (globalpropertyguide.com)). From there the gap began to open. In 2010, median house prices were 50% above the inflation adjusted base. In 2015 the gap was 64%, 2020 76% and in 2023 101%. From 2017 through 2023, median house prices rose by $225,000, when the inflation adjustment was only $60,098.

                    The point I’m making is that this represented a huge wealth exchange toward property owners (that is, all property owners), and that is not healthy for society or for the economy,

                    If we could balance up housing supply and demand, house price appreciation may stabilise to a level that makes it roughly equivalent to the value returns from other forms of investment.

                    “LandLords and aspiring landLords may naturally have a different view,

                    I don’t know. My personal view is that home ownership is a good thing, but I certainly don’t hold to the view that owning a home is a right, or necessarily puts you at an advantage over someone who doesn’t. It depends. No recent government has had the courage or will to address the supply/demand imbalance, which is why I remain of the view home we will see more people renting than less. For that reason, we need to try to encourage longer term tenancies. These provide greater social cohesion, stronger communities and provide benefits to both tenants and landlords.

                    Apologies for the lengthy response.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      To a large extent it is land ownership where the value is.

                      Singapore's model of the state owning the land is one I think useful.

                      This way you are only buying the house itself, mortgages would be lower, house quality could be better and money would be freed up to go into more productive enterprises.

            • Michael P 3.2.1.2.1.3

              " Labour tried…"

              (sigh)

      • Traveller 3.2.2

        "Traveller, have you ever rented a property where the landlord refused to refund the bond and you have to take a case to the Tenancy Tribunal to get back the money you need for the bond in the next rental?"

        No. But I've represented tenants who have, and never once failed to get bond returned. On the other hand (and I note you didn't answer my question), try recovering money as a landlord from tenants who leave unpaid rent and/or damage to the property. Most landlords just write it off.

  4. SPC 4

    Wage inflation and relative supply and demand of dwellings (measured by people per dwelling) are the two key drivers of rent inflation for new tenancies at the national level.

    See figure 1, page 4

    2003-2022

    House prices up 267% and inflation 54%

    Wages up 87% and rents up 83%

    https://www.treasury.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2023-08/htwg-what-drives-rents-nz-national-regional-analysis-aug2023.pdf

    Note the impact of moving benefits by inflation and super by net average wage.

    However within these trends notice that under Labour the MW moves a lot more than under National. Thus a continuing rise in rents will cause economic distress – either homelessness or overcrowding.

    • Michael P 4.1

      They don't mention mass migration as a key driver so I guess they just lump that in under 'supply and demand'.

      I'm assuming it is a key driver. NZ had approx 240,000 migrants arriving last year, that's almost 5% of our total population arriving in one year. Most of them stay in Auckland and they all need somewhere to live.

      My guess would be that of the approx 120,000 who left the country (net migration of approx 120,000 – still a net population increase of approx 2.5% = unsustainable), many would be younger people, not property owners, so their departure could be from a flatting situation or from living at their parents. So their departure in many cases probably doesn't free up a rental property.

      With these sorts of numbers, rents aren't going to magically start trending downwards. (by that I mean increasing less or at a lesser rate, because they'll keep going up regardless)

      It's kind of weird that we had a highest number of immigrants in one year ever recorded and by quite a margin yet I don't remember really hearing much at all about it in the media. (That doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't widely reported of course)

      • Traveller 4.1.1

        "They don't mention mass migration as a key driver so I guess they just lump that in under 'supply and demand'."

        That's a good point that is often not highlighted. Particularly, as you say, when most end up in Auckland.

  5. gsays 5

    This could be the appropriate post to ask: "How much is enough?"

    Or at what point does greed begin?

  6. Mike the Lefty 6

    Why should the NACTZ give a rats arse about the rights of tenants to have pets, when they are quite happy to reinstate landlords rights to a tax rebate without insisting that rents fall accordingly?

    That is the question here.

    The answer is that this new pet bond is a calculated attempt to make them look good in the public eye, that they care.

    They don't.

    • Michael P 6.1

      "a calculated attempt to make them look good in the public eye, that they care."

      Yep. A large number (Maybe even a majority) of Nat / ACT voters will be pet owners, so this will come across as positive for them.

      Smart politics by again. Make sure you are keeping your own voters happy.

      If only the Labour Party could head hunt some of the governments political advisors, because whoever they've had whispering advice into their own ears for the last few years are crap.

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