The Daily Blog Open Mic – Tuesday – 12th January 2021

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Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

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1 COMMENT

  1. The Do Nothing and Keep it Quiet government has been doing more of nothing with regards to rental agreements. Changes are to be phased in on February 11th, and then another portion in August this year. The squealing media say landlords will pout and just refuse to rent out their houses, and I kinda wonder if we are reading the same amendment act. So little has been done, and barely anything useful has changed, that the only people who’d pout about these changes shouldn’t be in the game at all. When the only thing to recommend it is the alternative of telling us we should be grateful for anything at all, it’s not much.

    https://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2020/0059/latest/LMS294929.html

    In short, if your landlord isn’t already completely nuts, the bonus to a renter in these changes is that letting and key fees have been abolished, and maximum bond amounts set. What that doesn’t acknowledge is that up till now, incredible fees being asked for by landlords and their agents is a good indication not to rent from them. Those people are still in circulation.
    Your rent now won’t go up within the first 12 months of you signing, and it cannot increase the following years on more than one occasion. Landlords can’t kick you out without cause anymore, but they can still lie about it, and then kick you out. You’ll never really know if their dear old mum moved in.
    In August, if you are victim to domestic violence you can end your tenancy, which means you wouldn’t pay a penalty, but it sounds like you’d already be in a weird situation brought about by a landlord who reckoned their money was more important than you getting the bash. The changes associated with actual crimes are obviously needed – who would begrudge someone their options to increase their safety and security? But as far as generally assisting renters to increase the security of their home, it’s not enough. The changes seem to present a world where renters are taking to houses with chainsaws and hammers and then attacking the landlords like angry flees. That simply isn’t the case, otherwise people wouldn’t do it at all. There’d be no profit in it. Having watched a few rapid departures, even renters in trouble don’t like leaving behind their support, and their children’s friends.

    As a renter, with the only landlord I’ve found so far who wasn’t nuts, it still isn’t enough. The part that says you can make “minor alterations” seems disconnected from reality, with the back n forth legality of it all. In my experienced, if something minor needs doing (except for electricity and what not) and to not do it means your time in a home is disadvantaged, then do it, if it’s easy and cheap, regardless. Need a bit of fence to keep the neighbour’s dog out? Then put in the fence. Otherwise you have at least a $1500 bill moving house, and everyone loses. Relying on the landlord being “reasonable” misunderstands the mindset of landlords I’ve met.
    Few people understand that being a landlord doesn’t mean you have the authority to tell other people how to live their lives, though certainly some landlords bring that culture with them. It’s a business transaction. Nothing more. Remember business? Remember the sterility and simple exchange of money for goods and services, with loses dispersed over time and ledger? Remember how the free market does not recognise emotions? Remember how if you can’t bear the loses, you aren’t and shouldn’t be in business? Now everyone wants to decide what their customers will think and be, and they get all pouty. During my years renting, the greatest threat to my home and sanity has been people who own their own homes as my neighbours, and the landlord. The pure hate that has spewed forth when they were obstructed from doing something illegal is astonishing. People like Judith Collins snarking her hate against the poor, in public comments about how owning a home means you’re a real person now, could go on the new hate speech law list.

    In my dreams, I’d prefer private landlords to be outlawed. I have nothing against my landlord personally, they appear to be far ahead of the law in this instance. It’s the practice in general that is medieval. Before that though, I’d like rental managers outlawed: Those guys are a real bunch. You wait till you get a twenty year old property manager flapping about when they try to do something dodgy. It’s quite the experience. If there was a sense of security in NZ (not including greed) so that people didn’t have to become landlords to ensure they don’t spend their old age living on the street, few people would bother being landlords. And if people could actually afford to buy a home as easily as the people now denying that things were once a lot easier… well…

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