Residential Tenancies (Safe and Secure Rentals) Amendment Bill
This Bill will:
- Remove the obligation on tenants to pay leasing fees
- Set a default of three years for fixed-term tenancies on the standard tenancy form, while maintaining the provision for both parties to opt out and set the term of their choice
- Remove the ability of landlords to give a reduced notice period of 42 days in the event that they decide to sell their tenanted property, and restore the standard 90-day notice period
- Limit rent increases to no more than once a year, regardless of tenancy type or term
- Require that the formula for calculating any future rent increase be included in tenancy agreement forms
- Allow tenants right of renewal on rental agreements
Every House A Home
Warm, dry, and healthy homes
- Restore funding to Warm Up NZ to upgrade houses through insulation and clean heating devices. Warm Up NZ will be able to make grants of up to $2,500 (the average that research indicates it’ll take to get an average property to a pass standard) available to all properties to help make them warm and dry.
- Implement a Warrant of Fitness and star system for rental properties to make sure all homes are liveable.
Restoring the balance to the rental market
- Require landlords to put aside a maintenance bond to fund repairs and maintenance. When required by the Tenancy Tribunal, this bond will be used to fund any overdue maintenance and repairs, particularly if the property falls below WOF standard.
- Implement a landlord register. The current system has no safeguards and in the broken housing market, some get away with letting atrocious properties. Mandatory registration has helped improve rentals overseas and at the cost of less than $1 a week, won’t be unduly expensive.
Strengthen renters rights
- Set up FlatMates – a national tenancy advocacy coordination office who will work with and fund local groups to provide advice, assistance, and advocacy. FlatMates will ensure that landlords and tenants are aware of their rights and responsibilities.
- Reform the Tenancy Tribunal to shift it from an adversarial model to a solutions focussed one through reforms like making mediation available before a formal complaint is made.
Secure tenancy agreements and rent fairness
- Ban letting fees
- Improve tenant security through three year standard tenancies, rights of renewal, and ending no-cause evictions.
- Limit rent rises to once a year based on a mutually agreed formula.
Faster Into Homes
This Bill will:
- Create a scheme which allows student loan borrowers to defer paying back their student loan to help them save for a house.
- Allow anyone who is earning over the repayment threshold of $19,000 to defer part or all of their mandatory 12 percent student loan repayment into a housing deposit savings account.
- Establish a fund, held by the IRD, which would approve student loan diversion savings (combined with KiwiSaver and other savings) to be spent on buying or building a first home.
- Give people the option of saving for a home deposit now and paying off their student loan once they have secure housing.
- Ensure that any savings not allocated towards a first home are transferred back to student loan balances.
Winter Energy Payments
- The Green Party will provide all households that earn less than $50,000 a year with winter
energy payments to cover 75 percent of the average increase to power bills over the winter
- The supplements will vary based on average regional power bills, so a student flat in
Auckland would be $206 better off every winter, while a student flat in Dunedin would be
$261 better off every winter.
- This will help more than 520,000 household who earn less than $50,000 per year. The payments would be received on a monthly basis from May to August
Home For Life
Progressive home ownership
- As a part of a government-build programme, the Green Party will make 10,000 new homes over ten years available to people who can’t afford a deposit or a normal commercial mortgage, through progressive ownership rent-to-buy arrangements.
- Progressive home owners will pay a weekly payment of no more than 30 percent of their income. Part of each payment will be rent to cover the Crown’s costs. The rest will purchase equity shares in the home. Over time, with each regular payment, ownership of the home will transfer from the government to the people who live in it.
- Our plan will save people more than $100 a week compared to a commercial mortgage.
- This programme will work alongside any government plan to build more affordable homes. It will provide access to affordable, stable housing and get people out of expensive rentals and into their own homes.