Greens call for Warrant of Fitness for rental homes

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Green Party is launching a petition today calling on the Government’s Healthy Homes Standards to be backed up with a proper Warrant of Fitness (WoF) for rental homes.

“Warm, dry, and healthy homes are a human right, but too often people who rent have little choice but to accept a home without the basic necessities that would make them safe and healthy,” says Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick.

“Rented homes are more likely than owner-occupied homes to be in poor condition and often do not receive the maintenance they need to be functional, safe, and healthy. This puts people who rent at risk of living in unhealthy homes.

“The Government’s Healthy Homes Standards are an important step but they’re not very enforceable. If there’s a problem, people who rent have to actively complain to the Tenancy Tribunal, but the power imbalance between renters and landlords means many renters are nervous about doing that.

“We don’t wait for rental cars to crash before we safety-test them; we require rental car companies to get regular WoF safety checks. People who rent their home shouldn’t have to get sick or complain before the safety of their home is tested and guaranteed.

“A WoF for rental homes would cover Healthy Homes Standards for heating, insulation, and ventilation as well as other basic features all homes should have, like safe electrical wiring, smoke alarms, and secure locks on doors and windows. Too often homes are rented out – at extreme cost – without these basic necessities.”

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