Green Party Bill will bring NZ rental laws into the 21st century

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is launching her Residential Tenancies (Warm, Safe and Secure Rentals) Amendment Bill today, which will instigate a warrant of fitness for all rental homes, and encourage longer, more secure tenancies.

“The million-odd New Zealanders who rent the homes they live in will greatly benefit from this Bill,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“Renting is a fact of life for more than a third of all Kiwi households, yet they have so far been largely neglected by politicians with very little attention paid to how to make their lives better.

“This Government insists on offering up half-measures when it comes to housing policy, but throwing some insulation and a smoke alarm at a rental home isn’t enough to keep tenants warm, safe and dry.

“The minimum standards we are proposing are based on the comprehensive trial undertaken by Philippa Howden-Chapman and the University of Otago team, and councils around the country.

“It will mean that basic things like drinkable water, effective ventilation, mould-free walls, window security stays and handrails in staircases are required in all homes for rent.

“The Bill will also encourage Kiwis into more secure, long-term tenancies, so that people can put down roots in a community, and make their rental house a home.

“Under the Bill, good tenants will have the right of renewal on leases, the way in which rent rises are calculated will have to be included in every lease agreement, and renters will no longer be penalised by having to pay leasing fees.

“Rights and responsibilities work both ways – this Bill aims to create more great landlords and more great tenants, and encourage transparency in their relationship and their rental agreement.

“This Bill is going to bring New Zealand rental laws into the 21st century and we expect widespread support for it, should it be pulled from the ballot,” said Mrs Turei.

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