Sunday, June 8, 2014

Landlords are not all money-hungry-greedy Ba------! There are two sides to any coin.

In my distant past, I rented flats and various residents, before I was able to scrape together a deposit for my own home. Sometimes I wonder why I bothered, given the drain that paying off a mortgage is on one's finances, especially if you live in Auckland. Some have said that you are actually better off renting; by figures I have seen of up to about $150 a week. Of course there are many variables and reasons for choosing either pathway.
My perspective is one that does not blame landlords for gouging; that is on the vast majority of cases, or that of exemplifying those tenants who damage properties and then run off leaving debt and terrible messes, as seen in the NZ Herald today. Those tenants are lowlifes, representing the extreme, whilst the instance of the landlord trying to rent a studio apartment with a toilet in the kitchen, shows the other side of the 'balance.' Take away the extremes and you are left with a more reasonable picture and possibly the facts of being either a landlord or a tenant.
Increasingly, people in Auckland are having to consider renting as the only viable option and it is re this scenario that we need to look at broadening the options. New Zealand is not the only country facing this dilemma; where buying a home is beyond the means of most. In Switzerland it has long been the norm, whereby leasing on a long term basis, where the lessee has more choices re the tenancy and can sell on  the remaining term of the lease if sh/e needs to move on. This makes renting/leasing more affordable and provides that certainty that so often lacks when a landlord in NZ decides to up the price or wants to maximise his or her investment and the tenant has to move on, sometimes after a very short term.
We have known that stability re housing is an important factor for families trying to establish a long-term base for their children. The flow-on effects for the education and the health of children are extremely important for the family as a whole and healthy functioning unit.
Take away the extremes we have witnessed of late and look to extending our choices re housing our families and individuals and perhaps we can achieve a more hopeful position. How much the State or local governments have a responsibility in this conundrum, is also a question that needs to be addressed.
Historically, New Zealand has been strong when it comes to Governments taking a lead in the area, so perhaps they too can extend their options re long term leasing, renting, and even becoming involved in 'partnership deals,' where various ownership percentages are the norm. Having a 'stake' in the form of partial ownership can be a strong incentive to 'look after a property,' in most cases, that is. There will always be those who are less responsible and when we see those extremes, be they from the perspective of the 'greedy landlord' or 'tenant from hell,'----well, we will need to have other answers for them. 

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