Rental Properties Warrant of Fitness

Following the recent release of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group’s report which recommended that residential rental properties should be regulated by way of a “warrant of fitness” rating mechanism the New Zealand Property Investors Federation lodged a written submission strongly opposing the proposal.

Key elements of the Federation’s feedback included arguments that:

  • Regulated standards could increase housing un-affordability and not ease child poverty in New Zealand
  • The market should set rental standards, not the Government
  • The Building Act, the Health and Safety regulations and the Residential Tenancies Act are sufficient regulatory controls
  • Rather than stricter requirements on landlords, there should be a stricter regime for tenants to maintain a property to a reasonable state of repair
  • Generally, rental premises are let in a good and tidy condition. However landlords have little control over how a tenant chooses to live.

The Federation also pointed out that it was a strong supporter of insulating rental properties and that from its own survey found that a high number of rental properties were already insulated and were well heated. The Federation supported the recommendation that the Government encourage landlords to insulate their rental properties by giving them tax breaks.

A warrant of fitness for state and council owned rental houses is set to be in place this year.