Landlord threatens to evict Kiwi tenants on 'coldest day of the year', calls on other property investors to join in

A landlord has suggested that property investors should band together to evict their tenants on "the coldest day of the year" to show the Government that what they do is "good" and "needed".

It comes two days after the Government announced housing policy changes to crack down on property investors to help first-home buyers get a foot in the door.  Part of the plan involves increasing the bright-line test to 10 years and removing the ability for investors to offset their interest expenses against their rental income.

Some investors have retaliated against these changes by threatening to increase rents to absorb the extra costs, but others have gone further by calling on other landlords to evict tenants on a set date.

A Facebook comment which was screenshot and posted to Instagram shows one person, who is presumably a property investor, suggesting an idea to evict tenants on "the coldest day of the year".

"Problem solving. If every landlord in New Zealand grouped together as one voice and told the Government that ([as] an example) we are all going to ask our tenants to vacate on say the 20th of July, 2022 (probably the coldest day of the year), as we all want our properties empty to 'renovate', where would the Government house near on half the population in one day," says the post, which appears to have been uploaded on Wednesday.

"That's where investors coming together as one can show the Government what we do is good, needed and helps solve housing for so many people that need it."

Landlord threatens to evict Kiwi tenants on 'coldest day of the year', calls on other property investors to join in
Photo credit: Twitter

Landlords can terminate periodic tenancies if "extensive alterations, refurbishment, repairs, or redevelopment" of the home will be carried out. In this instance, landlords must give 90 days' notice and then "take material steps" towards beginning renovations within 90 days of the termination date.

"This would ensure that the notice was given with genuine intent and that the premises do not stand idle," the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill commentary says.

"To allow flexibility, we consider that 'material steps' need not be strictly defined, but they should relate specifically to the termination ground."

Newshub asked the Commerce Commission if this particular behaviour from landlords is cartel-like behaviour, but a spokesperson said since they haven't looked into this issue, they are unable to comment on it.

Social media users responded with anger to the property investor's comment.

"Nothing says 'we're the good guys' like threatening to forcibly evict people on the coldest day of the year," one person tweeted.

"That is gross," another said.

"This person just sees their tenants as a source of revenue, and not an actual human being," a third wrote.