There are some important things that would make reasonable rent rules work.
- The Government needs a good database of landlords, properties, and rents, so rules can be applied fairly and accurately.
- Rents for individual homes need to be reasonably consistent when their tenants change, so landlords can’t push tenants out just to put the rent up.
- The obligation to show why a large rent increase is fair should sit with the landlord, rather than the current system where tenants have to take their landlord to the Tenancy Tribunal to prove a rent increase isn’t fair.
- An independent agency with a mandate to enforce the rules. This could include representatives of tenants and landlords.
- Standard maintenance and upkeep, or meeting minimum quality standards like the Healthy Homes standards, shouldn’t justify a large rent increase. But landlords should be able to cover the cost of genuinely substantial improvements, like a whole new upgraded kitchen.
- Short term property speculation should be discouraged, but people and organisations who build new homes to rent out on a stable, long-term basis should be able to cover their investment over a reasonable period of time.
- Governments need to make sure new homes keep being built, faster. This includes building many more state homes, supporting papakāinga, working with non-profit community housing providers, and enabling infrastructure.
As well as reasonable rent rules, moving to longer-term tenancy agreements as the default would give people greater housing security. Some people want to move around a lot, but many want to make their rented house a long-term home.