As the old saying goes: When you’re skating on thin ice you might as well tap dance! And that’s what the Coalition Government (We can’t call them the ‘Labour Lead Coalition apparently) seem to be doing. First, we had the announcement of the RTA Reform with the submission’s deadline of 21 October and then hard on the heels of that we have the Healthy Homes Standards with the submission’s deadline of Monday 22 October. Nothing like spreading them apart to give us a bit of breathing room. Phew! If you haven’t made a submission on these very important reforms, then please do before the deadline.
Healthy Homes Standards mainly deals with heating, ventilation, insulation, moisture ingress, drainage and draft stopping in rental properties.
Landlords don’t make excessive profits: According to the Housing Minister, Phil Twyford. However, the Minister has been reported as saying that steep rent rises have hurt lower income renters in some areas and in some regional markets, and that the RTA does not strike the right balance between landlords and tenants. And its for that reason the Government has announced proposals that will “strike a new balance between providing tenants with more secure tenure and allowing them to make their house a home while protecting the rights and interests of landlords.”
Housing NZ to compensate tenants: Housing NZ have announced that they intend compensating around 800 tenants who were ‘kicked out’ of their tenancies when it was found that their properties were meth contaminated, according to the ‘old’ meth contamination guidelines. The agency has now accepted that the meth tests were wrongly used and not needed. Just one fifth of the Housing NZ tested properties would fail the new meth standard set in May. It begs the question however – isn’t meth a class A controlled drug and as a result the use, supply and manufacture are illegal? To an outsider it seems like a lot of those who will receive compensation will do so, having been responsible for the original illegal activity which resulted in the contamination in the first place.
MBIE Compliance and Investigation team active: A Whanganui property management company has been ordered to pay $34,500 in damages for multiple counts of failing to lodge bonds and failure to provide insulation statements on tenancy agreements. The breaches were identified by the Compliance and Investigation team at MBIE who took the case to the Tenancy Tribunal. We expect to see more and more cases like this as the compliance team ‘flex their muscles’ and target noncompliant property managers and landlords. There really is no excuse for the level of noncompliance identified in this case and good on MBIE for taking the case to the Tribunal we say. The sooner the cowboys in our industry are brought into line or forced out the better
Insulation reminder: We are pretty certain you will all be aware by now, but if you aren’t then just to reaffirm. If your property does not meet the minimum insulation standards on 1 July 2019 it will be an unlawful act to rent it. The answer is simple – if it’s not insulated or you are unsure of whether or not the insulation meets the requirements then please get in touch and we will get it sorted for you.
Exciting times ahead at Propertyscouts: Keep an eye out for our new website which will be launched in early October. And watch out for our Propertyscouts TV ads on TV3. They will hopefully be starting in early October and run initially for about a month.