web analytics

“The Green Party is committed to reforming renting so that every house is a home”

Written By: - Date published: 6:47 am, September 19th, 2017 - 29 comments
Categories: election 2017, greens, housing, housing insulation, tenants' rights - Tags:

James Shaw said at the policy launch that over half of New Zealanders rent and deserve the same standard of housing as owners. So the Greens have a bold addition to their housing policies.

From the press release,

Greens announce plan to make every house a home

James Shaw MP on Sunday, September 17, 2017 – 14:32

The Green Party today announced a progressive plan to protect the rights of people who rent and ensure that every house in New Zealand is warm, dry and healthy.

The Green Party will:

  • Ensure every house is warm, dry, and healthy with a mandatory rental warrant of fitness and by restoring Warm Up NZ insulation subsidies.
  • Professionalise renting by requiring landlord registration and reciprocal maintenance bonds from landlords.
  • Promote stable, secure tenancies through three year standard tenancies, rights of renewal and end no-cause evictions.
  • Ensure fairer rents by ending letting fees and limiting rent increases to once a year based on a mutually agreed formula.
  • Reform the Tenancy Tribunal from an adversarial to a solutions focussed model.
  • Help landlords and tenants with free assistance, information, and advice through FlatMates – a national coordination office for tenancy issues.

“Home insulation is a classic Green win-win-win: good for people, good for the environment, and good for the economy,” said Green Party leader James Shaw.

“Cold, damp houses in New Zealand contribute to more deaths every year than the road toll.

“The Green Party has a proven record working with Labour and National to get homes insulated, and in government we will finish the job we started.

“The revamped Warm Up NZ scheme will make up to $2,500 available per house to pay for better insulation, clean heating devices and other measures that will support a healthier home such as draught stops and better curtains.

“A Warrant of Fitness for rental homes and a requirement on landlords to set aside money for reasonable maintenance will put an end to cold, damp, mouldy rentals.

“Over half of the population is now renting and they deserve the same standards as people who own a home.

“People who rent should have security so they can put down roots and benefit from being able to participate in their community.

“Bringing in three year standard tenancies, guaranteeing rights of renewal, and ending no-cause evictions will make tenants feel more at ease where they are.

“Bringing balance to the rental market will help both landlords and tenants.

“The evidence from overseas is that landlord licensing has helped create better rental markets, led to a reduction of anti-social behaviour, and improved rental standards.

“FlatMates – a new tenancy coordination office will provide advice, assistance and information to both landlords and tenants so that everyone knows their rights and responsibilities.

“The Green Party is committed to reforming renting so that every house is a home,” said Mr Shaw.

Policy launch speech:

29 comments on ““The Green Party is committed to reforming renting so that every house is a home” ”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    Excellent.

    I watched Bryan Bruce’s documentary on housing yesterday (had recorded it)

    Stuff review of the doco.

    The solutions the documentary suggested where focused on removing the speculative element from housing and making renting an affordable long term solution.

    On professionalisation of renting – the doco looked to countries like Germany. Basically, it doesn’t mean handing the rental sector to profiteering corporates. The professional bodies can be government supported, and/or not-for-profits.

    I like the GP idea of 3 year rent contracts. Currently I tend to go for the 1 year contract each year because it gives me a year of certainty. (rather than a contract open to the required notice periods.

    I like the GP idea of ending no-cause evictions, ending of letting fees for renters, and the implementation of FlatMates,

  2. roy cartland 2

    Great!

    I rent out part of my house to offset my horrendous mortgage. There was never any house WOF, but I made sure the proposed measures were met or exceeded. Anything less is grossly immoral.

    Now Wellington has introduced a voluntary WOF, which is absurd. It just enables landlords to charge more for ‘certification’ whereas every home should meet the standards.

    A WOF should be compulsory, standard, unthinkable-not-to-do.

  3. Janet 3

    As a landlord I applaud this policy

    • The Rock 3.1

      Agreed, I’ll be talking with my account to see how much I should increase the rent to cover the costs

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        😆

        As every good little right winger pretends to understand: markets set prices, not vendors.

        • The Rock 3.1.1.1

          Well taking advice from professionals and not from a message board has done all right for me thus far

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.1

            You need a professional to tell you that overpriced goods are harder to sell? OK then.

            • The Rock 3.1.1.1.1.1

              The market will decide of course…but it also helps if you have a property in a desirable location 🙂

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Remind me what happens when supply increases.

                • The Rock

                  Trust me when I say a property in the right school zone is a helluva lot more desirable than a property in say Aranui

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Yes. Remind me what happens when supply increases in the right* school zone.

                    *conditions apply.

              • Siobhan

                The Market decides?? Its not the market though is it…its how much the Government is willing to subsidise your uneconomic overvalued business model with Accommodation allowances and rent subsidies and family tax credits and insulation subsidies.
                Take those away and watch the landlords jump ship in droves…then maybe first home buyers (current renters) could return to housing auctions.

          • tracey 3.1.1.1.2

            You are going to pay to talk to your account before you find out what it will actually cost?

      • North 3.1.2

        Wow…….Feisty The Rock what a cock ! And of course the other sus’ element is that said Rock is committed to skiting like a schoolboy about his undertaking…….

  4. Richard Christie 4

    How will they “end(ing) letting fees” ?
    If an agency provides a service in advertising and vetting tenants the agency must surely be paid. If the Greens mean that they’ll shift the burden from the tenant to the landlord then they should say so clearly.

    • Muttonbird 4.1

      That’s as it should be. Currently the tenant pays for themselves and all the other applicants to be vetted. This should be the landlord’s responsibility.

    • weka 4.2

      Read the policy, it says they will “remove the obligation on tenants to pay letting fees” (an amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act).

  5. Stephen 5

    How many rights of renewal? One? Meaning a total rent period of six years? Or two? Or three? I ask only because like a lot of people my age part of the reason I have two flats to let out is that I need to provide a home for my own children in the next few years. If the sitting tenant can stay forever, should I ask them to leave before the election, leave the properties empty until my kids move in (yes, totally silly and socially moronic); or will there still be a right for my immediate family to be allowed to live in the flats (with adequate notice)?

    • weka 5.1

      Have you read the actual policy? I’m pretty sure that this is pitched at giving more security to tenants but not in an absolutist way. Also, it will take time for any new legislation to be enacted. I would also guess that it will depend on what kind of agreements you have in place already.

      I do think that talking about the detail of situations like this is useful in developing wise policy.

    • David Mac 5.2

      As I understand the policy. The default tenancy is a 3 year fixed term. If you state nothing to the contrary on the agreement, it’s a 3 year deal.

      Currently the default agreement (Unless otherwise stated) is a periodical (Some say ‘week to week’) arrangement.

      Tenants and landlords will continue to be able to arrive at whatever arrangement they both agree to. 6 months, periodical, whatever but it must be described on the contract, otherwise it’s automatically a 3 year fixed term.

  6. Union city greens 6

    Not a big fan of statutory 3 year contracts as I think it should be up to negotiation, but the rest of the plan is solid as, well, brick houses.

  7. David Mac 7

    Letting fees have become a crucial revenue source for all property management businesses. They are typically 1 week’s rent, paid by an incoming tenant to the letting agent. It’s not uncommon for letting fee income over a period to exceed the traditional source of revenue, a % of the rent paid.

    Unless replaced, outlawing letting fees will bankrupt most property management business models. This would suit some people but I think they are unlikely to just roll over and die.

    I think they’ll get around the Green policy by dividing what was once the letting fee by the number of weeks in a fixed term tenancy and add it to the weekly rental ask. Retain that sum when disbursing funds to owners. Call it something like The tenant appointment service fee.

    I do think some kind of licensing regime is a good idea. With something as important as someone’s home, it seems silly to have the arrangement looked after by someone that could of been a septic tank evactuator yesterday and created a free website, got some cards printed this morning and Hey Presto…..

    “Yesterday I couldn’t spell Property Managar and today I are one.”

    But again, the poor end user, they’ll get in the neck again, costs go up, tenant pays.

    • Muttonbird 7.1

      Part of the problem with letting fees is the lump sum at a time when tenants have other big costs, bond difference or bond itself, moving costs, etc. And of course tenants being tenants they don’t have millions stashed away like landlords do.

      I don’t think anyone imagines that the letting fees are just going to disappear, rather they will be born by both the landlord and the tenant. I think they should be fully born by the landlord myself but yeah, the landlord will just slap an extra 10 bucks on the rent to pay for the agent to scuttle around and peer into peoples lives on their behalf.

      At the very least a week’s rent up front will be gone.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year Honour recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her warm congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the New Year 2021 Honours List. “The past year has been one that few of us could have imagined. In spite of all the things that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • David Parker congratulates New Year 2021 Honours recipients
    Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment David Parker has congratulated two retired judges who have had their contributions to the country and their communities recognised in the New Year 2021 Honours list. The Hon Tony Randerson QC has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Year’s Honours highlights outstanding Pacific leadership through challenging year
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year’s Honours List 2021 highlights again the outstanding contribution made by Pacific people across Aotearoa. “We are acknowledging the work of 13 Pacific leaders in the New Year’s Honours, representing a number of sectors including health, education, community, sports, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting seniors to embrace technology
    The Government’s investment in digital literacy training for seniors has led to more than 250 people participating so far, helping them stay connected. “COVID-19 has meant older New Zealanders are showing more interest in learning how to use technology like Zoom and Skype so they can to keep in touch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago