It seems to be "bash a landlord" year. They're public enemy number one - in the gun for everything from high house prices to overcrowding.

But what if the majority of landlords weren't the big bad guys but instead just average Kiwis trying to set themselves up for retirement - so they aren't reliant on government help in their old age?

The vast majority of landlords - more than 90 per cent - only own one rental property.

While it's fashionable to complain about how hard life is for tenants, it's also worth thinking about what it is like for these small-scale investors.


Crack down on lending to property investors? That's seen as totally fair - although investors have only really been "increasingly active" over quite a short recent period and the presence of first-home buyers is actually increasing in the market, from $591 million in loans in May 2015 to $833 million in loans in May this year.

There are also calls at the moment for more laws to protect tenants. One of the most common called for is longer fixed-term tenancies. What lots of people don't seem to realise is that many landlords would love that because it's expensive to look for new tenants and deal with vacancies - but tenants generally don't. Surveys have shown that tenants typically do not want to be locked into a property for a long time.

Landlords do have it tough from time to time too. It's not uncommon to hear from landlords who've been left with trashed houses and unpaid rent.

It's also important to note that not everyone can or wants to buy a house. Some people have to rent and if we make it too difficult for people to provide those rental properties, the houses that are available to them will become more and more expensive.

If you are a landlord, it is a great idea to get a professional to manage your investment property for you. The savings in using a good property manager can be substantial.

- Jeremy Tauri is an associate at Plus Chartered Accountants