Housing & Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford introduced legislation to Parliament yesterday to ban the charging of letting fees to tenants.
The Residential Tenancies (Prohibiting Letting Fees) Amendment Bill to Parliament will amend the Residential Tenancies Act.
Mr Twyford said: “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 4 weeks’ bond, 2 weeks’ rent in advance – and one week’s 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.
“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. This review will examine a range of changes to make life better for renters and will include looking at limiting rent increases to once/year. It will also consider other initiatives to improve security of tenure and better allow tenants to make their house a home. The review is expected to result in legislation being introduced to Parliament early next year.
“Ultimately the best way to put tenants in a better situation is to increase the supply of housing, and end the shortage that is driving rents up. The Government’s KiwiBuild policy & urban growth reforms are designed to increase supply.”
Attribution: Parliament, Twyford release.