• Housing Minister introduces Bill to ban letting fees for tenants

    Housing Minister Phil Twyford has introduced a Bill to outlaw letting fees for tenants.

    Mr Twyford said there was no justification for landlords passing the cost – which was often more than the equivalent of a week’s rent – to tenants.

    “Around half of all Kiwis now live in rented homes. This Bill could put up to $47 million into the pockets of Kiwi families each year.

    “This could make a real difference to struggling families. There are significant costs associated with moving to a new rental property, which many families are now forced to do every year.

    “When moving into a new rental property, tenants can face up to four weeks’ bond, two weeks’ rent in advance – and one weeks’ rent as a letting fee – in addition to moving costs.

    “With homeownership rates at a 60 year low, this Bill recognises that we need to take action now to make rent more affordable so people can save to buy their own home.”

    Mr Twyford said this would be the first step to in making life fairer for tenants.

    “Banning the charging of letting fees to tenants is a good first step in improving the life of renters, while we continue our broader review of the Residential Tenancies Act,” he said.

    My Twyford said he expected to pass the legislation later this year.

    The Independent Property Management Association recently did a survey that said it will affect the bottom line of their businesses by 10-15%.

    “That’s what the government really needs to consider. I understand what they’re doing but the implications could be significant and there could be some job losses because of this,”  Barfoot and Thompson Property Management Business Manager Will Alexander said.