NZPIF update September 2016

The NZPIF executive met in Christchurch on 27 August.

The feedback we are receiving from both regional Property Investment Associations (PIAs) throughout the country and their individual members reveals growing concern about the methamphetamine contamination issue, complications arising from the recent Osaki ruling, and the hardening of attitudes of both the Reserve Bank and the trading banks against property investors.

We are fortunate that the federation’s executive officer Andrew King is now a member of the group that has been set up to help establish standards for the testing and rectification of methamphetamine contamination. We expect to see some certainty surrounding this matter announced fairly early next year, and anticipate that the Tenancy Tribunal mediators will then take a more realistic view of our rights and responsibilities in this area.

Accidental damage
The Osaki judgement that tenants no longer have any responsibility for any accidental damage they may do to a rental property also has far-reaching implications. As far as the executive can assess, the only way that this ruling can be overturned is with amendments to parts of the Residential Tenancies Act. This, of course, would require Parliamentary action. Right now, that appears unlikely to happen. We suggest that our members take every opportunity to point out the unfairness of this tenant immunity to their own MPs; their dissatisfaction with this state of affairs, and the negative impact this move is likely to have against prospective tenants who cannot display a perfectly unblemished record when they are applying for a tenancy.

We would also like to see any judgments made against landlords who bring claims for such damage to the Tenancy Tribunal as from the beginning of 2016. This is the sort of evidence we need in order to press our claim for the law to be changed. Please forward copies of any such judgments to myself or directly to Andrew King.

The financial restrictions recently imposed against residential property investors seem to be both part of a general tightening of the financial system and a result of the general public’s view of us as the bad guys in the property market. How much is due to the usual confusion between landlords and developers/renovators/speculators is a matter of conjecture. All we can do right now is to continue our efforts show that we operate as a legitimate and useful business providing housing for those people who cannot or chose not to buy property themselves.

NZPIF membership
The CPIA executive responded to a questionnaire from NZPIF on the renaming of the NZPIF and the possibility of allowing individuals to join the federation with some sort of associate membership. This was agreed upon in principle with further discussion to be had if these motions were passed by all PIA’s around the country. There is no clear vote either way at this time, as a few other associations have yet to make their views known. We expect this matter to be decided at the federation AGM, which will be held at the start of the conference in October.

Stephen East CPIA president