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Greens will fix slum-like rentals exposed in Renting Review

23 August 2017

The Green Party in Government will end the slum-like renting conditions exposed in the People’s Review of Renting by Renters United and Action Station, the Green Party said today.

“With nearly half of New Zealanders renting, the grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them,” said Green Party social housing spokesperson Marama Davidson.

“The Green Party is proud to support many of the recommendations in the report. We will implement a mandatory rental warrant of fitness, improve security of tenure for renters, support rent fairness and strengthen tenancy tribunal powers.”

“It is simply unacceptable that 70 percent of those surveyed did not have ceiling or underfloor insulation and over half of the homes are not weathertight.

“We know that over 1600 deaths are year are attributed to cold, damp homes. Poor quality housing is a national emergency which is killing New Zealanders.

“This Government has been completely clueless on insulation, making no efforts to seriously police or monitor insulation levels - even though it is a legislative requirement.

“People’s Review of Renting contains far too many incidences of shoddy, abusive behaviour from landlords, for example; refusing to fix taps, failing to remove rotten, mouldy floorboards and charging rent to live in an outdoor shed.

“The lack of affordable housing has forced renters in brutal competition against each other, with viewings creating ‘quasi-auctions’ which push up prices and force poorer tenants into competition for unsuitable, unhealthy housing.

“We want to thank Renters United and Action Station for highlighting the raw deal that renters get in today’s housing market. We are committed to working to fix renting and end the scourge of slum renting in New Zealand,” said Ms Davidson.