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Greens call for WOFs, rights of renewal

The Green Party has unveiled a package of housing proposals designed to make life better for the country’s tenants, including rights of renewal on all tenancies.

Wednesday, August 27th 2014, 12:00AM

by The Landlord

It said its key housing policy for the election was to deliver better houses for the poorest children, by improving rental property quality and tenant rights.

It wants a warrant of fitness for all rentals, more security of tenure, $3 million of extra funding to help tenants taking action against substandard rental housing and to insulate another 200,000 houses, at a cost of $327 million.

“More than a million adults and over 400,000 Kiwi children are now living in rental homes, but the Government has done next to nothing to improve the accommodation in which so many people now live,” Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said.  “As home ownership rates decline we need new policies to support renters. Renting is a new reality for many New Zealanders and it’s time for laws around the safety, quality and security of our rental homes to be updated to reflect this. Thirty-five per cent of New Zealanders now live in a rental property compared to 25% in 1990, but there has been no significant overhaul of the Residential Tenancies Act to reflect this new reality or bring our rental market into line with acceptable standard and tenant rights.”

She said Governments had acted in the interest of landlords, at the expense of renters.

“Our rental accommodation is in a very poor state. Research shows that 44% of rental properties are in poor condition and over half of all renters report at least one or more major problems with their house. Poor quality rental housing is a direct contributor to our appalling rates of preventable hospital admissions for infectious diseases amongst our children and Third World diseases such as rheumatic fever.”

She said the Green Party’s WOF scheme would be voluntary for two years.

“The Warrant of Fitness will be required to meet insulation, weather-tightness, and basic service standards including heating, hot and cold tap water, toilet, a shower or a bath tub, electricity and a stove and safe wiring. New Zealand’s tenancy laws are out of step with international norms and our high rate of people living in rental accommodation.”

She said the average renting household moved every two years. The Green Party wanted tenants to be given the right of renewal on any tenancy.  “At the moment rentals are not homes for too many families. Lack of secure tenancy results in high rates of transience for our poorest kids and price gouging by landlords… We want good tenants who follow the rules to be able to stay in their home for the long term.”

The Greens would also include a formula for calculating future rent increases, which landlords would be able to implement no more than once a year.

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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
ANZ 5.19 4.15 ▼4.04 4.49
ANZ Special - 3.65 ▼3.54 3.99
ASB Bank 5.20 4.15 4.09 4.39
ASB Bank Special - 3.65 3.59 3.89
BNZ - Classic - 3.65 ▼3.54 3.99
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.90 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 5.35 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 5.30 4.45 4.35 4.55
BNZ - TotalMoney 5.30 - - -
China Construction Bank 5.50 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 3.19 3.19 3.19
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Credit Union Auckland 5.95 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 6.15 4.95 4.95 -
Credit Union North 6.45 - - -
Credit Union South 6.45 - - -
Finance Direct - - - -
First Credit Union 5.85 - - -
Heartland 6.70 7.00 7.25 7.85
Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 5.75 4.80 4.95 -
Housing NZ Corp 5.19 ▼4.15 ▼4.09 ▼4.39
HSBC Premier 5.24 3.35 3.35 3.35
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.65 3.85 3.95 3.89
Kiwibank 5.80 4.30 4.34 4.74
Kiwibank - Capped - - - -
Kiwibank - Offset 5.15 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 3.55 3.59 3.99
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Napier Building Society - - - -
Nelson Building Society 5.70 4.69 4.79 -
Resimac 5.30 4.86 4.14 4.19
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
RESIMAC Special - - - -
SBS Bank 5.29 4.85 5.05 5.49
SBS Bank Special - 3.69 3.69 3.99
Sovereign 5.30 4.15 4.29 4.55
Sovereign Special - 3.65 3.75 4.05
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 5.15 3.65 3.59 3.99
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 5.15 4.15 4.09 4.49
TSB Bank 6.09 4.65 4.59 4.85
TSB Special 5.29 3.85 3.79 4.05
Wairarapa Building Society 5.70 4.85 4.99 -
Westpac 5.34 4.15 4.09 4.49
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Westpac - Offset 5.34 - - -
Westpac Special - 3.65 3.59 3.99
Median 5.35 4.15 4.09 4.19

Last updated: 19 September 2019 9:02am

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