The Opportunities Party housing policy promises to make renting a long-term option

Gareth Morgan, leader of The Opportunities Party.
Gareth Morgan, leader of The Opportunities Party. Photo credit: Getty

Landlords will only be able to kick out tenants for not paying rent or damaging the property, if The Opportunities Party has its way.

It's part of Gareth Morgan's plan to make renting a more secure long-term option and to improve the standard of rental homes.

"Sale of a property is not necessarily a legitimate reason for eviction. This development will provide tenant families with long-term security," the party said on Monday morning.

TOP's new policy replicates the German model, where 60 percent of homes are rentals and there are strict controls over rent increases and eviction of tenants. German policy slows the pace at which landlords can raise rents, giving tenants time to adjust to the market rate. Short-term rental agreements can be arranged, but they are difficult to negotiate and landlords must have a legitimate reason for registering one, TOP says.

The policy, released on Monday morning, would also see the quality of rental housing improved by establishing a rental Warrant of Fitness, improved building standards, and the proceeds from the Emissions Trading Scheme invested into insulation and energy efficiency. 

"This will provide the carrot for landlords to invest in improving the housing stock, while the regulatory stick will be provided through a broader Warrant of Fitness on rental housing. Building standards will also be improved over time," TOP says.

The party also say "we desperately need to increase the stock of social housing". TOP would 'gift' all Housing NZ homes to social housing providers, giving the providers "the equity for a radical expansion of social housing".

The party has already released its tax reform policy, which would see all wealth taxed - including housing. TOP claims the policy would have that income returned in tax cuts to 80 percent of the population.

Dr Morgan predicts it will take at least 15 years to make housing affordable under his tax reform policy.

TOP postponed the release of its housing policy after Jacinda Ardern took over the Labour leadership.