United Future’s responses to Renters United’s questions

September 12, 2017 9:06 am

Renters United asked all major political parties their position on the recommendations from the Peoples’ Review of Renting. Here are the responses from United Future. Compare all responses.

Will your party introduce a mandatory rental warrant of fitness?

UnitedFuture supports the introduction of a mandatory warrant of fitness for rentals and we’ve supported the Healthy Homes Bill passing through parliament. We do have concerns about the potential impact on rent rises and want to see more on this.

Does your party have any additional policies that will contribute to our goal of “all rental housing is warm, healthy, and safe”?

It is UnitedFuture Policy to:

  • More responsibility channelled through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to advocate for energy efficient homes and technology
  • Resourcing to fund a comprehensive nationwide programme of retro-fitting existing homes with energy saving improvements (including better insulation, low-flow shower heads, solar water heating etc), placing the burden on the Government, not landlords;
  • Requirements for all existing dwellings sold or advertised to rent to be assessed for energy efficiency (e.g. insulation, double glazing, heating methods, and use of solar energy) and given a standardised energy efficiency rating that is made clear to potential tenants;
  • Strengthened enforcement of pre-existing rules around notifying tenants of the insulation standards of their rentals.

Will your party limit rent rises?

UnitedFuture is concerned about rent rises and would like to see better controls on when/how rises can be done. Longer fixed rental periods would help with this.

Will your party abolish letting fees?

UnitedFuture doesn’t have a policy on this but is open to discussion to ensure that letting fees are not unfairly high and aren’t a barrier to housing.

Will your party take a hands-on approach to the housing market to ensure adequate supply (and affordability) of all housing types?

UnitedFuture believes that the government has a critical part to play in ensuring that more houses are built, including affordable housing. This means creating the environment but also directly contributing to new, affordable houses by building more.

Does your party have any additional policies that will contribute to our goal that “everyone has affordable housing”?

UnitedFuture has a rent to buy policy that creates a pathway to home ownership, especially for young families and first home buyers. Government would build affordable homes available for rent, then use a portion of the rent to help build up a deposit in the homes.

Will your party abolish no-fault evictions?

UnitedFuture would like to review the current legislation and regulations to ensure that they are meeting the needs of renters and providing security.

Does your party have any additional policies that will contribute to our goal that “people who rent are secure? They can create homes and report problems without fear of eviction”?

No answer.

Will your party reform the Tenancy Tribunal to lower the barriers to access?

UnitedFuture will review the Tenancy Tribunal to ensure that it’s working fairly for all parties.

Will your party fund tenants’ education and advocacy services?

UnitedFuture wants to see tenancy education included at schools so all young people are aware of their rights and obligations. We also want more funding for community groups (like CAB) to ensure they’re providing the right information to everyone who needs it.

Will your party require all landlords and property managers to be licensed?

UnitedFuture would prefer not to enforce licensing for all landlords (especially those who are not professionals) but we also understand the issues around lack of controls. We’d be open to exploring options that achieve the goals of raising the standard of landlords without creating overly onerous restrictions.

Does your party have any other policies that will contribute to our goal that “people can successfully challenge illegal behaviour by landlords and property managers”?

UnitedFuture will ensure that everyone is aware of their rights and obligations and ensure that the Tenancy Tribunal is responsive to issue as they arise.

Will your party establish a Commissioner for Housing?

UnitedFuture doesn’t have a policy on this but is open to discussion to ensure that housing has the focus it needs – we created the Families Commission and Game Animal Council for the similar reasons.

Does your party have any additional policies that will contribute to our goal that “the ongoing situation for people renting improves, The Tenancy Tribunal effectively upholds renters’ rights, regulations are enforced and periodically reviewed?

UnitedFuture would like to see the government take a more active role in ensuring that the housing systems are serving people fairly.

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