In responding to a Wellington tenants claim that "the rental market is beyond broken," Ashley Church, property commentator and former chief executive of the Property Institute, said what people are seeing is the inevitable consequences of a sustained Government attack on the rental sector. Refer back to some of the commentary we have provided in our monthly newsletters over the last couple of years and you will see that we have no problem agreeing with Church’s view. Church went on to say that as the effect of the Government's rental policies kick in you could expect a stagnation in the investment of rental properties. The Government has made a number of changes to rental laws aimed at giving greater protection and security for tenants, including limiting rent increases to once a year, banning letting fees and changing the rules for evicting tenants. The Governments view is that the new reforms will make it fairer and more secure for renters while also protecting landlords' interests, but in Church’s view a lot of landlords were reconsidering or getting out of the rental sector at a time when the population was growing. "We require more rentals and even if the market just stagnates that in itself has an impact on the availability of rentals," he said.
Between 2003 and 2008 there was a big push to encourage people to invest in rental properties or lease properties to Housing New Zealand, which had not happened to anything like the same degree over the past seven or eight years, Church said.