Landlord refutes ‘greedy’ claim
A property owner has hit back at claims landlords are ‘‘greedy’’ and says ‘‘banging heads together’’ is not the answer.
The issue of empty retail buildings in Alexandra’s town centre was raised at a mayoral candidates’ meeting. Candidate Martin McPherson said landlords preferred to have empty shops than think outside the square, some were greedy, and he wanted to lock them in a room and bang their heads together.
John Spark, who has been a landlord in Alexandra for 25 years, said he had rented out a Talbert St shop, that had a national tenant in 1995, at 50 per cent of the 1995 rental.
‘‘Perhaps if Martin was a ratepayer landlord he might better understand the rental property business...The rates have doubled, the insurances have trebled since then...every rate and insurance increase takes away the possibility of a rent adjustment. The earthquake survey on this building was done recently and produced a figure between $80,000 and $100,000 for remedial work. It is very hard to justify doing this work. Without a tenant, demolition is a real possibility.
‘‘The council itself had an empty shop in the town centre - are they also greedy landlords?’’
It is retail - there is not a lot of interest in retail. It is hard and I feel for them. We have dropped the rent - every tenant that has come in, the rent has been less than the tenant before. The council are not making it any easier...rates keep going up... Anyone that has got an empty shop here, I’m picking if you said to them that you had someone interested in taking your shop, they would nearly bite your hand off. They are keen to do business. Some rent is better than no rent at all.’’