Twyford: Landlords can't punish tenants over rental standards change

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Monday, 25 February 2019, 10:43AM
Phil Twyford says that they have to do something about this health crisis. (Photo / NZ Herald)

The housing minister isn't expecting new minimum standards for rentals to push up rental prices.

Phil Twyford has announced new rules, requiring every rental home to have a heater in the living room and extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom by 2021.

Landlords say they'll be forced to pass the cost on to renters.

But Twyford told Mike Hosking rents reflect supply and demand, not costs.

"If a landlord's gotta re-pile a house, fix the roof, put some new joinery in,they can't just go and whack that on the rent. They have to charge what the market will bear."

He says that the Government is focused on increasing the supply of houses, but this change is more of a public health reform than a housing matter. 

Twyford says the rule change could save hundreds of lives a year.

He says too many people are dying in cold, damp homes, and that needs to change.

"Kids are going off to hospital with infectious diseases with a rate of 6,000 a year. We can't wait around, we should have done this decades ago."

Twyford says that we see 1600 New Zealanders die prematurely every year due to cold, camp houses, according to the Ministry of Health. 

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