Property Management

A step too far

The Green Party’s proposed warrant of fitness for rental properties is likely to hit renters with an unnecessary cost of about $90,000,000 a year, the New Zealand Property Investors Federation (NZPIF) says.

Monday, August 07th 2023

A rental property warrant of fitness (WOF) was an idea first raised 25 years ago and has been rejected by all Governments since.

NZPIF president Sue Harrison says at a time when there is a cost-of-living crisis, mortgage interest cost increases and higher taxes for rental properties, plus the extra cost of the proposed WOF certification every four years, it is hard for rental property owners to cover all these costs without increasing rents.

“It is tenants who ultimately pay. Improvements need to be genuinely beneficial and cost effective.”

NZPIF vice president Peter Lewis points out that tenants are unlikely to want inspectors to come and check their homes yet another time.

“They already don’t especially like the existing inspections of their homes required by insurance companies. While most insurers insist on three monthly inspections, the NZPIF has obtained agreement for inspections at four monthly intervals for members whose properties are insured with Initio Insurance. Both tenants and rental property owners appreciate having fewer inspections,” Lewis says.

He says the need for a rental property warrant of fitness simply isn’t there. “It would duplicate the laws we already have to cover the quality of rental properties, plus the measures in place to ensure there is compliance.”

Rental property owners make legal declarations that their rentals comply with all aspects of the Healthy Homes regulations and face large fines if these declarations are false. Tenants will know if their homes have problems. They are encouraged to raise these issues and take them to the Tenancy Tribunal. They can receive as they can receive exemplary damages of many thousands of dollars from their non-compliant landlords if their complaints are valid. There have been many examples of this recently, Lewis says.

Tenants are also protected from rogue rental property owners, who end tenancies if the tenant/s raise legitimate issues about their rental homes. Known as retaliatory action and if proven, tenants have been awarded sums of up to $4,000 by the Tenancy Tribunal if the property owner behaves this way.

On top of this, the Government has established the Tenancy Compliance Division which can undertake its own inspections of rental properties and hold poorly behaving rental property owners to account, even without a tenant’s involvement, he says.  

“Consequently there are already enough laws to improve the quality of rental property in New Zealand and enough safeguards and punishments to ensure that the standards are met.”

Lewis says the country needs more private rental properties, and there are too too many laws that stop this. “Tenants and rental property providers do not need more of these well-intentioned but misguided measures.”


No comments yet

SBS FirstHome Combo 6.14
Unity First Home Buyer special 6.55
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special 6.79
Heartland Bank - Online 6.89
Wairarapa Building Society 6.95
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 6.99
Kiwibank Special 6.99
Unity 6.99
TSB Special 6.99
ICBC 7.05
China Construction Bank 7.09
Unity First Home Buyer special 6.45
Heartland Bank - Online 6.55
SBS Bank Special 6.69
ICBC 6.69
TSB Special 6.75
Westpac Special 6.75
ASB Bank 6.75
AIA - Go Home Loans 6.75
China Construction Bank 6.75
Kiwibank Special 6.79
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 6.79
SBS Bank Special 6.19
ASB Bank 6.39
Westpac Special 6.39
ICBC 6.39
AIA - Go Home Loans 6.39
China Construction Bank 6.40
Kiwibank Special 6.55
BNZ - Classic 6.55
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 6.55
TSB Special 6.59
SBS Bank 6.79
SBS FirstHome Combo 6.19
AIA - Back My Build 6.19
ANZ Blueprint to Build 7.39
Credit Union Auckland 7.70
ICBC 7.85
Heartland Bank - Online 7.99
Pepper Money Essential 8.29
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 8.40
Co-operative Bank - Standard 8.40
First Credit Union Standard 8.50
Kiwibank 8.50

More Stories

Sticky market for investors – first home buyers in control

Wednesday, May 15th 2024

Sticky market for investors – first home buyers in control

Large numbers of property investors have not come back into the market despite  the reintroduction of 80% interest deductibility for landlords and the lowering in July of the Brightline test from 10 years to two years, QV says in its latest update.

Low house prices and deposits help first home buyers

Thursday, May 09th 2024

Low house prices and deposits help first home buyers

The increasing number of low deposit mortgages being lent to first home buyers has been borne out by the latest CoreLogic research.

Rate cuts needed to lift mood

Wednesday, April 17th 2024

Rate cuts needed to lift mood

The enthusiasm that followed the change in government, mainly from property investors, has waned as homeowners and buyers hang out for interest rate cuts, says Kiwibank.

Support for regulation

Monday, March 18th 2024

Support for regulation

REINZ has emphasised the need for property management regulation to Parliament’s Social Services and Community Committee.