A Hamilton landlord says she has no choice but to ask a terminally ill woman and four Work and Income beneficiary families to vacate their homes following a Government crackdown on property investors.
Natasha Goodwin made the difficult decision to give tenants of her five rental properties their 90 days’ notice last month after calculating the Government’s recently announced housing changes would soon cost her tens of thousands of dollars extra a year.
Among those forced out of their homes is Anne Johnson, a woman whose rare respiratory condition is likely to end her life within the next few months – but Goodwin says she’s only breaking even, and the changes have left her with no choice.
The median house price in Hamilton is $730,000. The median rent is $440 a week or $23,000 a year or 3.1% of the median house price. But you also have costs. Typical costs might be:
- Repairs and Maintenance $2,000
- Property Insurance $1,500
- Landlord Insurance $1,000
- Property Management Company $2,300
- Rates 2,200
So total costs of $9,000 means net income is $14,000 or 1.9% of the house price. So if you have a mortgage of 3% on 75% of the value that is a cost of $16,000 a year so you are not even breaking even.
What the Government has now done is say you have to pay tax on the $14,000 so you get a tax bill of $5,000 on the property despite the rental income not covering the costs of the property and mortgage.
Among Goodwin’s tenants is Anne Johnson, who likely has just months to live.
The 67-year-old has Churg-Strauss disorder, a rare autoimmune disease with no cure, and hypersensitivity vasculitis – the combined effects of which will ultimately end her life.
“It’s very rare and people don’t usually last more than two years,” her son Marc Bishop told Newshub. “Mum is fortunate enough to be living on borrowed time as she was diagnosed a bit over two years ago.”
Johnson has been given three months to vacate her Melville house, which she has been living in for the last year and is conveniently located within walking distance of Hamilton Hospital, where she regularly goes for treatment. …
Bishop doesn’t have any hard feelings toward Goodwin; he describes her as a “lovely young woman” and understands her rationale for selling up.
His anger is instead reserved for Grant Robertson, who he says has been spouting “verbal diarrhea” about the benefits the housing changes will bring.
A good description.
She initially bought three Hamilton units to house herself, her sister and her mother so they could all live close together, but it got to the point her mother needed something slightly bigger, so she bought her a two-bedroom unit.
She then bought another home so she could remain in close proximity to her mum, followed by a two-storey place to look after her when she was later diagnosed with cancer.
“I just thought, ‘it’s not really worth selling – I might as well rent them out if they’re going to break even’,” she remembers.
This is the case for many landlords. They break even at best.
“I don’t make anything off keeping these rentals, I break even. Especially for one of the places I’ve got – three units in Hamilton – the maintenance on it just costs a bloody fortune and it’s really not worth keeping.
“I figured if I was breaking even and housing someone then I was doing a good deed, but it’s come to the point where it’s not worth keeping these houses. It’s so stressful.”
Goodwin believes the changes should never have been made. She says if they weren’t, her tenants would be able to remain in their homes.
“I’m making five families homeless… they’re all WINZ tenants. The majority are probably going to struggle to find places as they’ve got bad credit,” she said.
And Labour wonders why the priority waiting list for homes keeps increasing.