Real estate agency apologises for mocking tenants in newsletter

A newsletter distributed by a real estate agency shows the "lack of empathy" property managers have towards their tenants, it has been claimed.

The October issue of the Ray White Warkworth's Investor Gate newsletter mocks tenants as being poor and untruthful, and young people as lazy and entitled.

A section titled 'Funniest things tenants say about not paying rent' includes lines such as:

  • "My WINZ payment didn't come through!" - But tenant has a very fresh sleeve tattoo!
  • "I had to pay to fix my car to get to work." - I can see how those new, shiny rims would get you to and from work much easier than your old, standard ones!"
  • "I just bought new furniture and I have promised my children a good school holiday so I'm going to be a month late with my rent."
  • "WINZ stuffed up my pay."

Another section took aim at 'Generation Y' - also known as Millennials - saying the 'Y chromosome' made them ask questions like "Y should I get a job?" and "Y should I leave home and find my own place?"

It came with a cartoon suggesting the 'Y' label comes from the shape their buttcrack makes when it pokes out of their low-riding pants.

Home ownership rates have been falling since the early 1990s, with the decline strongest in people aged under 35 - the Millennials - according to Statistics NZ.

"It's disappointing but hardly surprising that yet again the mask has slipped and we see the lack of empathy, bordering on contempt, that many property managers have toward the renters who are dependent on them for a healthy, safe and secure home," Robert Whitaker of Renters United told Newshub.

"That property managers could find renters struggling to pay their rent humorous demonstrates the urgent need for this industry to be properly licensed and regulated for the good of both renters and the industry itself."

According to Ray White Warkworth's website, the newsletter is written by Ken Bogue. Mr Bogue didn't return Newshub's calls or emails, but Ray White Warkworth apologised "unreservedly" for its content through a PR agency.

"The newsletter was prepared and released by the Warkworth office without oversight. In this instance, Ray White Warkworth had syndicated some content from an independent Australasian property newsletter, but this was used in poor taste and does not align with the values or views of Ray White New Zealand or any of its licensed agents in any way.

"Ray White Warkworth will be making every effort to remove copies of the current issue from circulation."

The statement went on to say it wants both renters and landlords "on an equal footing".

The Government this week banned letting fees, helping tenants, and will soon set standards for rental homes.