The Government won’t support “extreme measures” like warrant of fitness checks for all houses because it will drive up rent and push housing stock out of the market, says Finance Minister Bill English.
Labour was calling for cross-party support for its bill that would ensure every rental property in the country – state or private – met a minimum standard of living, including heating and insulation.
Twyford said the cost of retro-fitting a standard New Zealand house with floor and ceiling insulation and a heat pump would only cost about $5000.
Only $5,000! Make it compulsory for every rental house in NZ, and watch those costs skyrocket.
In 2014, the Government trialled a warrant of fitness on 500 state houses, which included checks on insulations, leaks, smoke alarms, toilet facilities and power points.
But Housing Minister Nick Smith was reluctant to extend the warrants to all public and private rentals because if the Government prohibited the rental of homes unless they were fully insulated it would mean taking 100,000 homes off the market.
As I blogged in May 2014, 94% of rental properties failed a WOF test devised by Councils. So this would remove 94% of rentals off the market.
A one size fits all WOF will turn into a bureaucratic nightmare. I live in a penthouse apartment that is generally very warm, as it gets all day sun. If I wanted to rent it out, Labour and Greens would make it illegal as it doesn’t have a heat pump!