The Green Party has welcomed reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act that begin to fix the huge power imbalance between landlords and tenants, but are calling for further action to truly correct inequities.
“Housing is a fundamental right which means we need to guarantee safe, secure and affordable housing for everyone regardless of whether they rent or own”, Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson said today.
“Decisions by previous Government have resulted in a huge power imbalance between landlords and tenants.
“This imbalance has meant tenants can have their periodic tenancies terminated with no cause, it has meant that rents are allowed to climb, and that there are huge barriers to taking legal action if a landlord is breaking the law.
“The reforms announced today begin to resolve that huge power imbalance.
“We are happy to see reforms that will make it harder for landlords to kick out tenants unfairly, as well as increased access to justice and measures to slow unfair rent increases.
“We also welcome that people who rent will be able to make small changes to a house more easily. This gives New Zealanders more chance to make a house their home.
“However the Green Party think we must go further to truly correct what has become a significant imbalance, effecting more and more New Zealanders every year.
“This includes properly resourcing the Tenancy Tribunal and ensuring the onus doesn’t sit with under-resourced and time-poor tenants to initiate legal action if landlords are breaking the law.
“We’d also like to see a compulsory Warrant of Fitness so that all houses are warm, safe and dry.
“These additional measures will ensure a fairer go for a growing number of New Zealanders who are facing a lifetime of renting. Today’s announcement is a great start, but we have further to go”.