About Good Returns  |  Advertise  |  Contact Us  |  Terms & Conditions  |  RSS Feeds Other Sites:   tmmonline.nz  |   landlords.co.nz
Last Article Uploaded: Thursday, November 14th, 3:52PM
rss
Latest Headlines

Call to beef up proposed rental standards

Enforcement provisions in proposed insulation and smoke alarm requirements should be strengthened, the Select Committee is told.

Thursday, February 18th 2016, 12:00PM 1 Comment

by Miriam Bell

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which includes proposals that will require landlords to install insulation and smoke alarms in all residential properties, is currently before the Social Services Select Committee.

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith said the Bill aims to make homes warmer, drier and safer for New Zealanders who live in rental accommodation, without imposing excessive costs on landlords.

However, controversy has surrounded the path of the legislation as many believe the government should instead be introducing a Warrant of Fitness (WOF) for all rental properties.

This argument has been advanced by the Labour Party, the Green Party, tenant advocates and some academics.

Now the Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills, has joined the debate.

He told the Select Committee the Bill was “shameful” as it would do little to for children living in cold, damp, mouldy housing.

Not only is there no heating or ventilation standard in the Bill, but tenants will have to complain if they believe the property is not up to standard, Wills said.

“Without heating or enforcement these changes will have little impact for children. An insulated but unheated house is still a cold house. Tenants don’t and won’t complain. Children will therefore continue to live in cold, damp, mouldy, private rental houses.”

Wills said the Bill should be amended to include three elements that would ensure houses are warm and dry.

These are a requirement for all houses to meet the current insulation standard, application of a heating and ventilation standard, and the introduction of monitoring or enforcement, with inspections, by local government, with inspections.

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) also submitted that the Bill’s enforcement provisions should be improved.

CHA co-chairperson Julie Nelson said they require tenants to report problems rather than for landlords to show they meet minimum requirements.

“Tenants lack confidence or fear that there may be retribution if they report a landlord for unfit housing.

“The Bill needs to find a better way to enforce new housing standards that don’t put vulnerable tenants at risk.”

Insulation was only half the answer, heating was also crucial, Nelson said.

However, the NZ Property Investors Federation, which supports the Bill, believes the issues are more complex.

NZPIF executive officer Andrew King agrees that heating and ventilation are key.

But he said landlords find that even if energy efficient heating, like heat pumps, is put in, some of their properties still show signs of being cold and damp.

This is often because tenants are reluctant to use the heating for cost reasons.

“Solutions need to be cost effective. Otherwise rents will rise higher than they need to, making it even harder for tenants to turn on their heaters."

By making insulation and heating items tax deductible, the government would reduce the impact on rising rental prices and make savings on health expenditure, King said.

The NZPIF has previously said that the harder it is for investors to provide rental property, the more expensive and restrictive it will be for tenants.

Arguments for a comprehensive WOF for rental properties are likely to continue over coming months as the Bill continues through the Parliamentary process.

Further, the Green Party’s Residential Tenancies (Warm, Safe and Secure Rentals) Amendment Bill is still in the Parliamentary ballot.

 

« Returns reality different to perceptionTenancy debt level to improve »

Special Offers

Comments from our readers

On 29 February 2016 at 11:37 pm Peter L said:
So why do these proposed requirements just cover rental properties rather than all properties?

Are owner-occupiers somehow immune to health problems?

Sign In to add your comment

 

print

Printable version  

print

Email to a friend
News Bites
Latest Comments
Subscribe Now

Mortgage Rates Newsletter

Daily Weekly

Previous News

MORE NEWS»

Most Commented On
Mortgage Rates Table

Full Rates Table | Compare Rates

Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
ANZ 5.19 4.05 3.95 4.49
ANZ Special - 3.55 3.45 3.99
ASB Bank 5.20 4.05 3.95 4.39
ASB Bank Special - 3.55 3.45 3.89
BNZ - Classic - 3.55 3.45 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 3.99 4.49 -
Heartland 6.70 7.00 7.25 7.85
Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 5.75 4.80 4.95 -
HSBC Premier 5.24 3.35 3.35 3.35
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.15 3.18 3.18 3.20
Kainga Ora 5.18 4.04 3.95 4.39
Kiwibank 5.80 4.30 4.20 4.64
Kiwibank - Capped - - - -
Kiwibank - Offset 5.15 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 3.55 3.45 3.89
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Napier Building Society - - - -
Nelson Building Society 5.70 4.25 4.15 -
Pepper Money Near Prime 5.64 - 5.44 5.44
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Pepper Money Prime 5.18 - 4.98 4.98
Pepper Money Specialist 7.59 - 7.39 7.39
Resimac 4.50 4.86 3.89 3.94
RESIMAC Special - - - -
SBS Bank 5.29 4.85 5.05 5.49
SBS Bank Special - ▼3.55 3.39 3.89
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 3.49 3.59 3.89
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 5.15 3.99 4.09 4.39
TSB Bank 6.09 4.35 4.25 4.69
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
TSB Special 5.29 3.55 3.45 3.89
Wairarapa Building Society 5.70 4.85 4.99 -
Westpac 5.34 4.15 4.09 4.49
Westpac - Offset 5.34 - - -
Westpac Special - 3.55 3.45 3.99
Median 5.34 4.04 4.09 4.39

Last updated: 11 November 2019 4:01pm

News Quiz

The maximum remuneration model for Australian life insurance advisers is to be set at what?

Upfront 40% + trail 20%

Upfront 50% + trail 10%

Upfront 50% + trail 20%

Upfront 60% + trail 10%

Upfront 60% + trail 20%

MORE QUIZZES »

About Us  |  Advertise  |  Contact Us  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  RSS Feeds  |  Letters  |  Archive  |  Toolbox
 
Site by Web Developer and eyelovedesign.com