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Rental property questions the Govt refuses to ask

The Government fails to address some key questions while proposing sweeping changes to tenancy law and rental property standards, Tenancies War spokesman Mike Butler said today.

1. Why are so many people reluctant to turn on electric heaters?

2. How will owners evict lawless tenants who intimidate witnesses when witness statements are required to verify lawlessness?

Proposed changes to tenancy law would prevent owners from ending tenancies, ban fixed-term tenancies, allow tenants to modify a property, allow tenants to keep pets, and enable Government officials to enter boarding houses at any time.

Additional standards for rental properties would require a heat pump in every room, additional insulation beyond the present requirement, extractor fans in bathrooms and kitchens, a polythene sheet on the ground under every house, and draught-stop tape around windows and doors.

If these requirements were necessary for public health, why are they limited to the occupants of 588,700 rental properties and not extended to New Zealand’s 1.1-million owner-occupied homes, Mr Butler said.

“The assumption that tenants are in peril if the temperature is less than 18C is absurd,” Mr Butler said.

“This is because even if a heat pump is installed in every room who is going to check to see that it is running, and running at the correct temperature,” he said.

Despite recent heated denials, power bills from Contact Energy in Hawke’s Bay showed that the price of electricity has nearly doubled from 12.95 cents per kilowatt/hour (before GST) in 2004 to 22.9 cents per kilowatt/hour in 2018, plus a daily charge of $2.04.

We noticed how the submission questions on both the tenancy law proposals and new standards were biased to exclude any support for the status quo, Mr Butler said.

Therefore, we have sent out to owners and renters throughout New Zealand amended questions that allow all comments – so that the Government can get some honest feedback, he said.

Stop the War on Tenancies is a coalition formed to empower both owners and tenants in the face of ongoing Government ineptitude with housing.

Our website may be viewed at www.tenancieswar.nz

Owners and tenants are in a tenancy together and any law change or regulation that disadvantages one will disadvantage the other, Mr Butler said.

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