The Green Party is calling for a rental property warrant of fitness which is likely to hit renters with an unnecessary cost of around $90,000,000 a year. The idea of a rental property warrant of fitness was first raised 25 years ago and has been rejected by all Governments ever since.
“The NZPIF is highly supportive of steps to improve the living standards of rental properties in New Zealand,” said Sue Harrison, President of the NZ Property Investors Federation (NZPIF). “However as tenants ultimately pay, these improvements need to be genuinely beneficial and cost effective.”
At a time when there is a cost-of-living crisis in New Zealand, mortgage interest cost increases and higher taxes for rental properties, plus the proposed extra cost of the proposed certification every four years, it is hard for rental property owners to cover all these costs without increasing rents
Peter Lewis, NZPIF Vice President, points out that tenants are unlikely to want inspectors to come and check over their homes yet another time. They already don’t especially like the existing inspections of their homes required by insurance companies. While most insurers insist on three monthly inspections, the NZPIF has obtained agreement for inspections at four monthly intervals for members whose properties are insured with Initio Insurance. Both tenants and rental property owners appreciate having fewer inspections.
The need for a rental property warrant of fitness simply isn’t there. It would duplicate the laws we already have to cover the quality of rental properties, plus the measures in place to ensure there is compliance.
Rental property owners have to make legal declarations that their rentals comply with all aspects of the Healthy Homes regulations and face large fines if these declarations are false. Tenants will know if their homes have problems. They are encouraged to raise these issues and take them to the Tenancy Tribunal as they can receive large amounts of money in exemplary damages from their non-compliant landlords if their complaints are valid. There have been many examples of this in the media recently.
Tenants are also protected from bad rental property owners who end the tenancy of tenants who raise legitimate issues about their rental homes. This is known as retaliatory action and has seen tenants awarded sums of up to $4,000 if the property owner behaves this way.
On top of this, the Government has established the Tenancy Compliance Division which can undertake its own inspections of rental properties and hold poorly behaving rental property owners to account, even without a tenant’s involvement.
Consequently there are already enough laws to improve the quality of rental property in New Zealand and enough safeguards and punishments to ensure that the standards are met.
We need more rental properties in New Zealand, and we have seen too many laws that stop this from happening. Tenants and rental property providers do not need more of these well-intentioned but misguided measures.
About the NZPIF.
The New Zealand Property Investors’ Federation is the parent body for affiliated Property Investors Associations representing approximately 7000 property owners and is responsible for educating and supporting landlords to ensure New Zealanders have access to high quality rental properties.
For more information please contact
Sue Harrison, NZPIF President email@example.com 0275479739
Peter Lewis, NZPIF Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org 0274520511