Auckland property developer wants tax breaks for rent to own properties

Imagine renting a home knowing your landlord would never sell it and boot you out. 

A property developer has plans to build thousands of homes to rent out with long-term tenancies. 

He and his international backers have poured in $40-million already, including building a 48-home site in south Auckland about to open up to tenants.

But he's looking for a tax break.

A new development of one and two-bedroom units in Onehunga aren't for sale and they won't ever be. They're being built solely for rent. 

A Rental Company CEO Kent Gardner said a one-bedroom apartment at the development would cost around $500 per week. 

The 48 units are due to hit the rental market in August and they've taken about a year to build - roughly a home a week.

"The renting model here is broken, we've got the wrong capital I believe in the market, not long term capital, we've got poor quality stock," Gardner said. 

And in return for boosting rental housing stock - he wants a tax exemption.

"We've asked for that, and explained why it's necessary," he said. 

Newshub understands Gardner and other build to rent developers are actively lobbying the Government to continue to be able to write off the interest costs of their developments against their total tax bill.

Some say if they don't get what they want, they won't provide long-term rental housing. 

"We've been very clear about what our concerns are because we'd love to see a whole bunch of New Zealanders housed, it's a no brainer, this is happening all around the world, we're probably about a decade behind everyone else,"  Property Council head of advocacy Denise Lee said. 

National director of Colliers Alan McMahon's phone has been running hot with international developers keen to build rentals here but the tax changes announced in March are turning them off. 

"That's maybe half a million, or a million dollars a year, of income which you were expecting, which you no longer have, so it's a very significant deterrent." 

Housing Minister Megan Woods says she's reassured developers of new properties that they will be exempt - but it's not confirmed. 

"We have to work through the detailed design of that, and we said that back in March when we announced it and that should be coming out for consultation in the coming weeks. 

"Hurry up, let's get it sorted out," McMahon said. 

"We haven't got it yet, but I'm hoping it's coming," Gardner added. 

Because more housing supply hangs in the balance.