Reasonable rents do more than just keep living costs manageable, they also enable people to stay in the same home for longer. This helps families put down roots in communities and be part of their neighbourhoods. Children can stay in the same schools, which helps contribute to better learning. Stable housing helps support stable employment.
Landlords also benefit from secure, long-term tenants who have an extra interest in looking after properties because they want to keep living there. Institutional housing investors looking for predictable, long-term investment returns might find that reasonable rent regulation helps deliver this.
But in Aotearoa, one-year tenancy agreements are the norm, and landlords often keep rental properties in worse condition than owner-occupied homes. People who rent have to accept instability and poorer quality housing. With rents increasing faster than incomes, people lose the choice to save for a first home deposit. Successive governments have treated renting as a temporary step on a path to home-ownership, but renting is a long term reality for many people.
Renting a warm, dry, accessible home should be affordable for everyone, no matter how long they’re planning to rent for.