26 Nov 2013

Call for action over 'unsafe' rental properties

7:02 pm on 26 November 2013

A Christchurch City Councillor says a high-level response to an increasing number of unsafe houses being rented in the South Island city is needed urgently.

A so-called 'as is where is' market has developed since the damaging earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, where owners sell damaged houses to buyers willing to take them in their current condition. Many of the properties are then tenanted.

The council's housing committee has asked the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment what exactly is being done to document the number of damaged houses being used as rental properties.

Councillor Yani Johannson said on Tuesday that a strategic response is needed urgently from local and central government on the health problems these properties pose.

Mr Johannson says there are risks from asbestos, lack of insulation and land damage that paying tenants should not have to face.

The ministry says it is working on policies to deal with the issue.