Our plan will bring balance to the landlord-tenant relationship, improve rental security for tenants, and make sure that all homes are warm, dry and healthy.
Warm, dry, and healthy homes
- Restore funding to Warm Up NZ to upgrade houses through insulation and clean heating devices.
- Implement a Warrant of Fitness and star system for rental properties to make sure all homes are liveable.
It should be the right of every New Zealander to grow up in a warm, dry and healthy home. The Green Party will make this vision a reality through a mandatory rental warrant of fitness. We will also restore funding to Warm Up NZ to make grants of up to $2,500 (the average that research indicates it’ll take to get an average property to a pass standard) available to all properties to help make them warm and dry.
Restoring the balance to the rental market
- Require landlords to put aside a maintenance bond to fund repairs and maintenance.
- Implement a landlord register.
A maintenance bond is a deposit, that when required by the Tenancy Tribunal, will be used to fund any overdue maintenance and repairs, particularly if the property falls below WOF standard. Most landlords are good landlords. But the current system has no safeguards and in the broken housing market, some get away with letting atrocious properties. Mandatory registration has helped improve rentals overseas and at the cost of less than $1 a week, won’t be unduly expensive.
Strengthen renters rights
- Set up FlatMates – a national tenancy advocacy coordination office who will work with and fund local groups to provide advice, assistance, and advocacy.
- Reform the Tenancy Tribunal to shift it from an adversarial model to a solutions focussed one.
Reform of the institutions that guide and advice on tenancy is necessary to bring renting into the 21st century. FlatMates will ensure that landlords and tenants are aware of their rights and responsibilities. We are committed to reforming the Tenancy Tribunal to see a shift away from the adversarial model to a solutions focussed one through reforms like making mediation available before a formal complaint is made.
Secure tenancy agreements and rent fairness
- Ban letting fees
- Improve tenant security through three year standard tenancies, rights of renewal, and ending no-cause evictions.
- Limit rent rises to once a year based on a mutually agreed formula.
Improving tenant security means that people will be able to put down roots and better participate in their community – improving health, education, and social outcomes. Banning letting fees and limiting rent rises will also enable people who rent to plan their finances better and make their house a home.
Ensuring every New Zealander has a warm, dry, secure home whether they rent or own is a key part of our Confidence and Supply Agreement. As a part of Government, we have increased funding for insulation and are reforming our rental laws.