$285 to $400 is an increase of $115, 40% circa 2008 – 2017*.
Source David Hood.
Now Simon Bridges has a bridge to sell you. This appears to be National saying they’ll magically adjust income to rent ratios so that we can all afford housing even as the rents keep increasing.
MBIE’s latest data shows median rents up $55 a week under @jacindaardern. This is predictable given the taxes and costs piled on & is the number 1 cause of worsening poverty in the last two years.— Simon Bridges (@simonjbridges) December 9, 2019
National will unwind the changes so you have more money in your pocket.
Meanwhile, the government is reforming the Residential Tenancies Act. From The Spinoff’s cheatsheet on the law changes,
- Limiting rent increases to once every 12 months instead of once every six months
- Banning rental bidding (ie: landlords encouraging ‘bidding wars’ among potential tenants for high demand properties)
- Ending no cause evictions. Currently, periodic tenancy agreements (ie: a tenancy that doesn’t have a fixed end date) can be terminated without cause as long as the landlord gives 90 days notice. The RTA will now have a list of reasons for termination.
- Increasing financial penalties. The Tenancy Tribunal will be able to award compensation or order work to be done up to a value of $100,000 (currently the maximum is $50,000)
- Anonymising complaints to the Tenancy Tribunal by default if the complainant successfully enforces their rights or defending a claim against them.
Much of that is to temper rent increases,
Rental bidding has been another controversial practice that has come up since the demand for houses has increased. In 2018, we reported that in Wellington landlords were explicitly operating tender processes on their rentals in a bid to drive up prices, with one landlord requiring tenants to submit the maximum they’d be willing to pay above and beyond the listed price as the house was in ‘high demand’.
There’s a lot more to be done, and the housing crisis requires multiple, well planned and integrates solutions, but these are initial, concrete actions with the specific intention of preventing rent rises. My money is on Labour and the Greens who have long established policy designed not social media reckons.
*This interactive graphic suggests the increase is closer to 50%.