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Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean says she’s concerned that Central Otago tenants and landlords will lose out in the wake of proposed Government reforms of the Residential Tenancy Act.

“There are a large number of people renting around the Central Otago district and a significant number of people who own rental properties.

“The rental property market in this region is essential, and with housing at such a premium, it plays a crucial role in providing accommodation for the hundreds of workers and their families who live here.

“By limiting rent increases to once a year, landlords will be forced to raise rents higher and sooner, meaning tenants will actually be paying the same or more in the long run.

“While some landlords tell me that the massive changes proposed could make it almost impossible to ever shift a tenant from a property.

“The risk is that placing all obligations on landlords will undermine the viability of their investments and they will consider selling their properties and leaving the rental market all together hurting renters as much as landlords.

“In particular this would hit Central Otago hard where the supply of rental accommodation is already a challenge.

“I totally support striking a good balance between the needs of landlords and tenants, but the Government’s changes seem likely to result in both parties losing out.”

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