Rents rising but students 'getting off lightly'

Student Chloe Hedges (20) carries her belongings to a removal truck yesterday morning. PHOTO:...
Student Chloe Hedges (20) carries her belongings to a removal truck yesterday morning. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
A rent increase of about $10 a week for rooms in student flats is the largest price hike in recent years - but considering the number of changes taking place for landlords, students are "getting off lightly'', the head of the Otago Property Investors' Association says.

Colliers International student and residential investment sales representative Matt Morton said last week rents for shared flats in the campus area had increased by about $10, to between $140 to $150 per room.

Otago Property Investors' Association president Cliff Seque said students were bearing some of the cost of a number of new demands on landlords.

They included a nearly 8% Dunedin City Council rates rise as well as new insulation standards in the Residential Tenancies Act which would come into force in July next year, requiring insulation under the floor and in the ceiling.

Some landlords had already got to work, but most renovations would probably take place once students left for the summer, Mr Seque said.

The price landlords would pay came to about $14 per sqm for insulation, and a new heat pump might cost $2000.

"Students are getting off lightly,'' he said.

Rents had been "creeping up'', but this was the first time he believed there had been a $10 change in recent years.

Second semester exams ended on Friday, and students were out and about moving their belongings between flats yesterday.

Third-year psychology student Chloe Hedges, moving out of her seven-bedroom Leith St flat, said she and her friends had noticed rental prices in their flats seemed to be going up by about $5. Her current flat was going up from $135 to $140 a week.

It was always possible to find something affordable for everyone - but sometimes it was "not that nice''.

Real Estate Institute New Zealand regional spokeswoman Liz Nidd said she thought both the new insulation standards and changing house values in the past two or three years were behind the rise.

Earlier in the year, it appeared flats around the North Dunedin area were being snapped up by first-home buyers, but she had not "seen as much of that recently''.



'Getting off lightly', in the lexicon, 'should be thankful their financial penalty is not greater'. It simply reflects the entitled thinking of landlords.

It's 'entitled' for people to pass some costs on for improving standards of living?
If you expect your landlord to pay 5k+ (very modest figure) to make you warmer, decrease your heating costs and improve your general health, then expect not to have tho pay for some of that increase you want/benefit from... then that makes you the entitled one buddy


I am not in this market, a Rental Market that avoids 'level playing field', because rents rise ad hoc.

I am merely objecting to a skewed market that says consumers (tenants), have no say in the matter. In that regard, Landlords are "getting away with it". In good faith, they should be showing tenants verified costs of improvements.