Duncan Garner: Labour should press pause on its changes to tenancy law

OPINION: New Zealand landlords are under attack like they have never seen or felt before.

The Government is changing the Residential Tenancies Act.

It significantly strengthens the hand of tenants and, once passed, landlords can't evict tenants without a specific reason, specified under law.

Landlords can't kick tenants out for displaying anti-social behaviour. No, no, no they will have to prove it not once, not twice, but prove the tenants are kicking in the walls three times in a 90-day period with written warnings issued.

You'll need a legal department and an HR department just to be a landlord.

You can only put the rent up once per year and tenants will be able to pass the tenancy on to their friends unless their landlord has a reasonable reason to decline it.

In trying to achieve their end goal of perceived fairness, Labour could fail miserably. 

If people bail from providing rentals, our housing stock doesn't grow.

Fewer rentals hit the market, and prices skyrocket. Figures already show rents are now $60 a week higher than two years ago.

I regard Ashley Church as one of the voices we should be listening to when it comes to property and especially when he says: "This is the most anti-landlord Government probably in the history of our nation". 

We should all sit up and listen because in trying to shut down the odd bad landlord, the Government has thrown a "guilty" net over all rental property owners.  

I think the approach lacks sophistication and any sort of insight or knowledge as to the risk of providing a rental.

We've had dozens of property owners and landlords write into the show in recent days saying they'd love to help someone who's struggling to rent but it's just not worth the risk right now.

The net result will see fewer places to rent and prices climbing further and faster than before.  

Labour should press pause.

Duncan Garner is the host of The AM Show.