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Boycott Barfoot's Over Naive Support For Costly Standards

Rental property owners should boycott Barfoot and Thompson over a naive call to the National Party to halt plans to scrap punitive extra rental standards if elected, Tenancies War spokesman Mike Butler said today.

Barfoot and Thompson director Kiri Barfoot has co-signed a letter with the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation, the Hutt Valley District Health Board, Community Housing Aotearoa, NZ Green Building Council, and university researchers, urging National leader Judith Collins to back the new standards. See here.

“Barfoot’s position is naïve,” Mr Butler said. “She should provide the evidence that shows extra insulation, a heater, two extractor fans, and a moisture barrier in 540,000 rentals will keep 700,000 New Zealanders with respiratory disease out of hospital, he said.

“How about the 1.1 million owner-occupied homes that are not required to meet the standards?” he said.

“The only evidence that the Government presented to launch their healthy home guarantee standards was a one-sentence assertion about housing and hospitalisation in a book written by a pro-Labour academic, an economist, and a Salvation Army spokesman,” Mr Butler said.

“Besides, what will Barfoot and Thompson say when all the extra insulation and heaters have been installed and respiratory disease sufferers are still spending time in hospital?” Mr Butler said.

“Barfoot’s support for the costly and unnecessary compliance standards is actually deepening a problem for both owners and their tenants who end up having to foot the bill,” Mr Butler said.

“There have been rental property standards in New Zealand since 1947 and the only real merit in recent changes was the insulation standard introduced in 2016 through the Residential Tenancies (Smoke Alarms and Insulation) Regulations,” he said.

“Real estate companies such as Barfoot and Thompson make their money out of property owners by selling properties and managing rentals. They don’t face the costs imposed by Labour’s fraught requirements. Instead, they make money out of managing compliance,” Mr Butler said.

“I would be outraged if a property manager I employed was lobbying a political party to increase my compliance costs for no sound reason and I would take my business elsewhere,” Mr Butler said.

New Zealand’s 290,000 residential rental property owners should remind real estate companies where much of their money is coming from, Mr Butler said.

Stop the War on Tenancies is a group that since October 2018 has been highlighting the failure by the Government to create sound policy and law for residential rental property.

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