Majority of renting Kiwis want to ditch agency letting fees

But Real Estate Institute's Bindi Norwell says the cost of agency letting fees will be dispersed elsewhere.
But Real Estate Institute's Bindi Norwell says the cost of agency letting fees will be dispersed elsewhere. Photo credit: File

More than half of renting Kiwis want to do away with agency letting fees.

Horizon Research found 72 percent are in support of the Government's proposed ban.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford introduced legislation to Parliament in March that proposed to ban landlords from charging the up-front fee.

"This could make a real difference to struggling families," he said in a statement.

"There are significant costs associated with moving to a new rental property, which many families are now forced to do every year.

But Real Estate Institute's Bindi Norwell says the cost will be dispersed elsewhere.

"They may pass [the costs] to landlords or they may include it in rentals. There will be other ways that they can recover those costs."  

She says the Government needs to weed out unreliable landlords.

"There's no regulation so there's a potential lack of consistency in the market and there may be a couple that don’t actually live to, or have, those same standards, so it may undermine the industry."

The Government is planning further changes through its review of the Residential Tenancies Act.

This could include limiting rent increases to once per year instead of the current six months, as well as other measures to improve the security of tenure, and is expected to result in new legislation by the end of the year.

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