Landlord insurance bill withdrawn

A private member's bill which would have required landlords to insure their tenants has been taken off Parliament's agenda.

Tuesday, November 7th 2006, 12:00AM

by The Landlord

The Maryan Street-sponsored bill has been opposed by various property investors associations and industry bodies such as the Insurance Council.

Street wrote to the Office of the Clerk of the House yesterday asking for the bill to be discharged, therefore taking it off Parliament's order paper of business.

Street said her bill sought to protect innocent tenants from being pursued for costs of damage they did not cause to rental properties.

However, National housing spokesman Phil Heatley said that under the bill, landlords would struggle to get insurance for their tenants, and tenants with a poor insurance history would be unable to get accommodation.

Heatley said National had consistently argued against the bill on the basis that it would drive up rents as the costs were passed on.

"National also shared industry concerns that leaseholders left in the lurch by irresponsible flatmates would end up on a tenant blacklist through no fault of their own," he said.

Street said she favoured having the issues raised in a wider review of tenancies law. This is likely to happen during the Department of Building and Housing’s current review of the Residential Tenancies Act.

That review is expected to be completed by the end of this month with legislation introduced next year.

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