3 Sep 2017

Labour's generation rent plan

11:06 am on 3 September 2017

The Labour Party is proposing changes to tenancy rules it says will make renting a more stable option for New Zealanders.

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Labour plans more security for tenants. Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

It would extend notice periods to 90 days and it would abolish "no-cause" terminations.

Rent increases would be limited to once a year instead of the current six months, and the formula for increases would need to be set in tenancy agreements so that tenants know what to expect.

Letting fees would also be abolished.

Jacinda Ardern hit the campaign trail again at Auckland University.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern on the campaign trail. Photo: RNZ / Craig McCulloch

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said if a tenancy agreement was breached, landlords should be able to access the tenancy tribunal and have action taken straight away so Labour would make sure the tribunal would act quickly.

"Many landlords and renters are looking for secure longer term fixed tenancies.

"In these cases, we'll change the law so there is the option of paying a higher bond in exchange for the ability to make a house a home by making minor alternations, like painting a wall or hanging a picture, as long as the tenant returns the property to the state it was in at the start of the tenancy."

Labor leader Jacinda Ardern at Avondale market.

Labor leader Jacinda Ardern at Avondale market. Photo: RNZ / Chris Bramwell

Labour would pass the Healthy Homes Bill, which aims to ensure that all rentals are warm, dry, and healthy to live in.

Ms Ardern said Labour would help landlords with costs after the law was passed by offering $2000 grants for insulation and heating.

"This package has been designed, based on international examples, to get the balance between tenants and landlords right.

"Labour is committed to restoring the Kiwi dream of owning your own place, but we also recognise that long-term renting has become a reality for more families, and the current law creates instability and insecurity for many."

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