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Rents in the Nelson region over the last year have increased at the fastest rate in more than a decade and are amongst the largest increase of any region, according to the latest October Government Tenancy service data to October.

“It is a real concern that rents have sky rocketed by $29 a week in Nelson to $383/week in the last year. This 8.2% annual increase is way in excess of incomes and is causing real hardship amongst Nelson’s lowest income families.

“This $29 per week increase over the first year of the new Labour/NZ First/Greens Government is more than four times the average increase of $7 per year or 2% per year under National. It is also concerning that the $29 a week increase for Nelson was amongst the highest in New Zealand, exceeding Auckland’s at $19/week and Canterbury’s at $9/week.

“These skyrocketing rents are hitting Nelson’s poorest families the hardest and come on top of steep rises in petrol and electricity costs. Surveys are showing that families are finding it increasingly difficult to fund other essentials like food as the cost of living rises.

“The fact that rents are rising four times as quickly under the new Government is the product of a poorly thought out policy. The Government in its first year has passed a rush of new tax and tenancy regulations that increase the costs for landlords and these will inevitably be passed on to the consumer.

“National is supportive of programmes that improve the quality of our rental housing. That is why we subsidized the insulation of 4,000 Nelson households and introduced a law change requiring that all rentals must be insulated and have smoke alarms.   Our concern is that the Government’s further changes on tax, letting fees and other compliance costs goes too far and just adds to rental costs. Our worry is that the proposed Capital Gains Tax will likewise be added onto rents as forecast by economists.” 

“These escalating rents are a wakeup call for the Government that it needs to rethink its approach to the rental sector and recognise that when you impose extra costs on the rental housing sector, tenants will pay with increased rents.” Concluded Dr Smith.

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