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Smith: compulsory home maintenance law ludicrous

Published: Fri 12 Dec 2003 03:05 PM
Smith: compulsory home maintenance law ludicrous
A suggestion that homeowners be required to maintain their properties needs to be stamped on because it would have Kiwis living in a virtual police state, United Future's Murray Smith said today.
In its submission to the Government Administration Select Committee today, the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) argued that there ought to be a provision in the Building Bill making it obligatory for homeowners to maintain their houses.
"This is patently ridiculous," Mr Smith said later.
"While it is always desirable for homeowners to keep their properties well maintained," he said "to make it a statutory obligation, as BRANZ suggests, is going too far.
"How would such a measure be enforced? Would local bodies send out inspectors to visit every home, every year? Are homeowners going to be prosecuted for not hosing their house down every weekend?"
Mr Smith said United Future would support builders and developers being encouraged to provide homeowners with a manual of maintenance requirements as an information tool.
"But then what a homeowner does with that is then up to them," Mr Smith said.
"At the end of the day, a lack of maintenance will affect the sale price they get for their property and, providing that the house continues to be safe and sanitary, that should be the only penalty the homeowner suffers."

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