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Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill

Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill

Landlords and tenants should be alarmed at Labour MP Phil Twyford’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill that would immediately impose stringent requirements upon rental properties without defining those requirements, Mike Butler of NZCPR said today.

Mr Twyford is seeking support for a bill that would:

1.Require the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority to set minimum standards for heating and insulation in rental properties by 1 April 2014.
2.Amend the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 to require all landlords to meet the standards.
3.Apply to all tenancy agreements made after the standards are published.

But no statement has been made to describe what the standards are that would apply to 465,000 rental properties, Mr Butler said, and there are no such standards on the EECA website

The bill that would amend both the Residential Tenancies Act and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000 would require the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority is to set the standards and landlords are to meet the standards.

Landlords would have no way of knowing likely costs of upgrading heating, insulation, whether ventilations systems would be required, whether hot water cylinders would comply, and so on, Mr Butler said.

Tenants would worry about rent rises to pay for the possible mandatory upgrades.

Legislation based on a yet-to-be designed set of mandatory standards is faulty in the extreme because there is no way to have meaningful debate on a bill, should it be brought before Parliament, that has no contents other than a date when some undefined arbitrary standards will be imposed.

Generations of people have led happy, healthy lives in New Zealand’s 465,000 rental properties for many years before busybody politicians like Mr Twyford started trying to solve problems that frankly do not exist, Mr Butler said.

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