Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, February 19th, 2009 - 89 comments
Categories: national/act government, tenants' rights - Tags: auckland property investors association, landlordism, phil heatley, tenancy tribunal
So, National has decided to scrap a raft of tenant protections proposed by the last Labour Government and tilt the deck back in favour of landlords. Clearly the new Government thinks tenants have had it too good for too long, and in hard times like these it’s the 8% of New Zealanders who own investment properties that need the most help.
Housing Minister Phil Heatley says he wants to remove limitations on tenant liability for damage to the property, even if the tenant did not cause the damage intentionally or recklessly.
That’s the clause that was inserted after four Dunedin tenants were held financially responsible for someone else setting their flat on fire while they weren’t even on the property. The judge in that case said the outcome “though in accordance with the law, is unjust.” But apparently Phil’s cool with that.
Heatley also wants to scrap the right to professional tenant advocates in Tenancy Tribunal hearings, thereby tipping the balance of power even further in favour of landlords and property managers. Oh, and he also wants to make sure real estate agents can keep charging those extortionate letting fees.
The Auckland Property Investors Association is said to be thrilled.
Good to know whose side they’re on.