Proposed tenancy law changes are "a complete disaster waiting to happen" and will reduce the number of homes for rent, Rotorua landlords say.
But tenant advocacy groups say the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill needs to go further to protect tenants, particularly those in social and state housing, and domestic violence victims.
The bill, announced late last year, proposes removing landlords' rights to end a tenancy for no cause and limits them to one rent increase per year.
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It also gives tenants the right to make minor changes to rental properties, such as adding brackets to secure furniture and appliances against earthquakes, baby-proofing properties, installing visual fire alarms and doorbells, and hanging pictures.
Submissions on the bill closed late last month and have been published and publicly released by the Social Services and Community Select Committee this month.
Huib Volker, who is both a renter and a landlord in Rotorua, told the committee he "vehemently" opposed the bill.
"The provisions of the bill essentially appear to presume that landlords are always at fault ... unless the landlord can somehow prove otherwise."
He said the proposed laws would mean he and his partner "would have to start vetting prospective tenants much more stringently" and they "would be highly unlikely" to purchase any more rental properties.
"Proceeding with this bill in its current form is quite simply a complete disaster waiting to happen."
Fellow Rotorua landlord Donna Youngman said she sometimes wondered "if it's all worth it as we are always being made out to be the bad ones".
"Don't forget without us you don't have any rental properties. You should be looking after us and commending us for helping out the housing shortage and homeless."
She said rent increases should be allowed to happen twice a year as the likes of insurance and rates rose.
Rotorua Property Investors Association president Debbie Van Den Broek made similar points.
"Future applicants will need to be perfect, we will not take on people needing second chances. The unintended consequence of this action will be to increase the number of people unable to find a rental home."
Another Rotorua property owner, Natasha Middleton, said she felt the proposed changes meant she would not be able to effectively manage risks.
She said she would "feel that the Government is in the driving seat of my business while I take on all the disadvantages".
"I fully believe that people deserve a roof over their heads but only if they can respect that roof and play by the rules. If they don't, they should be removed so someone else more deserving can have the home."
However, the Salvation Army's submission was "generally very supportive" of the bill.
It cited "significant increases" in average weekly rents across the country, listed in its State of the Nation 2020 report.
The report released in February showed in Fordlands, Rotorua average weekly rents for three-bedroom homes had gone from $204 to $353 between 2014 and 2019, an increase of 73 per cent.
Baywide Community Law Service lawyers also wrote to the committee.
They supported the bill but said it needed to better protect people without secure housing, or in social housing, boarding houses, transitional or emergency housing.
"Every day we see the impacts of poor housing quality and insecure tenure on health and wellbeing, and we are acutely aware of the huge difficulties tenants face in asserting their legal rights," they wrote.
"Tenants are easily replaceable, while a place to live in is not."
They said explicit provisions protecting family violence survivors were needed.
The lawyers suggested allowing victims of family violence to "easily exit tenancies" to leave violent situations, without having to pay compensation to landlords.
They said survivors should be made exempt from paying for property damage caused by violence.
The service's submission called upon the committee to make sure tenants remained anonymous in published Tenancy Tribunal decisions.
The Social Services and Community Committee's report, summarising written submissions, is due by June 22.
In the meantime, the Government announced measures to prevent homelessness during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It put a "freeze" on rent increases for an initial period of six months, and brought in tenant protections against no-cause terminations for an initial period of three months, starting March 26.
The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
• Removes landlords' rights to end a tenancy for no cause
• Limits landlords to one rent increase per year
• Gives tenants the right to make minor changes to rental properties
• Requires landlords to facilitate ultra-fast broadband installation