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Property managers to be regulated, meth testing changes announced by government

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Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced changes to the rental sector. File image.

Residential property managers will soon need to be registered, trained, and licensed under new rules unveiled this morning.

Landlords will now have another year to get their rentals up to healthy home standards – including Kāinga Ora and community housing providers.

Housing Minister Megan Woods said Covid-19 supply chain issues had stunted compliance.

The public would also be consulted on new rules on methamphetamine residue levels and how tenancies can be terminated if the property was unsafe.

“Nearly 600,000 households rent in New Zealand and these measures will result in regulated oversight of residential property managers, science-based rules on meth residue testing and a reprieve for landlords in meeting a compliance deadline,” Woods said in a statement.

“The government aims to ensure every New Zealander has a warm, dry, and safe place to call home, regardless of whether they own or rent. These initiatives build on the important work we’ve already done in the rental sector which all ultimately serve to improve the lives and outcomes of renting New Zealanders and their whānau.”

Megan Woods

Housing Minister Megan Woods.
Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Woods said complaints about property managers would be dealt with through a new regulatory framework.

Given 42 percent of rentals were looked after by property managers, it was important to have regulations in place given the access they have to homes.

“Sometimes tenants are vulnerable to poor behaviour from residential property managers, especially in a tight rental market. Following our moves to give tenants more protection through the Residential Tenancies Act, we made a manifesto commitment in 2020 to regulate residential property managers.”

“This means that like many other professions such as real estate agents, builders and lawyers, they will have conduct and competency standards to abide by and if they don’t, they can be held to account.”

Woods said Cabinet had agreed that the Real Estate Authority would be the regulator. The Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal would have a role expanded to include property management-related issues.

More to come…

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